UAE's space psychology project Analog Mission#1 begins in Moscow

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The United Arab Emirates Analog Mission#1 – which aims to mimic the isolation of a space mission – has begun in Russia’s Moscow.

Emirati astronaut Saleh al-Ameri is part of an international crew of six who will spend eight months in near isolation as part of the Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS-21).

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The crew has entered the NEK ground-based analog facility in Moscow, Russia, with al-Ameri being joined by Oleg Blinov, Ekaterina Karyakina and Victoria Kirichenko from Russia’s Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP) along with Ashley Kowalski and William Brown from the US space agency, NASA.

The mission is “integral to understanding the effects of isolation and confinement on human psychology, physiology and team dynamics to help prepare for long-duration space exploration,” state news agency WAM has reported.

The six-man crew will be observed by scientists who will measure the psychological and physician effects on human-beings living in extreme environments that astronauts face during space missions.

The UAE’s MBR Space Center said Al-Ameri had to undergo rigorous training for the event, including space simulations and participating in sports, medical, psychological & Russian language tests.

The country has already marked many milestones in space with the UAE’s Hope Probe reaching the Red Planet in February - becoming only the fifth nation in history to do so.

The UAE has also recently announced that the country is setting a course for Venus and the main asteroid belt. The new interplanetary mission will launch in 2028 and will see the spacecraft go on a five-year expedition, orbiting Venus and Earth before reaching the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter in 2040.

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