UAE - Saleh AlAmeri on Thursday became the first UAE analog astronaut to start his eight-month-long isolation mission that simulates the journey to Mars.

AlAmeri is joined by three astronauts from Russia and two from the US.

AlAmeri and Abdalla AlHammadi were the first Emirati analog astronauts selected for the mission on August 15, 2021, by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

“It is an absolute honour to represent the UAE and MBRSC in what is a historic first mission for the UAE. This is in line with our strategy of going forward to explore the moon and Mars,” said Salem AlMarri, deputy director-general, MBRSC.

“We have a rover which we are sending to the surface of the moon next year. We have four astronauts currently training in Houston for future space missions. We are planning to build an analog to simulate conditions of Mars in Mars Science City in Dubai,” AlMarri said during the last media briefing ahead of the start of the isolation mission in Moscow.

Tricia Mack, director of the Nasa Manned Space Flight Programme in Russia, praised the mission members from the UAE and Russia for their great teamwork and seriousness towards contributing to the mission.

Saleh AlAmeri said he’s happy to be part of this international scientific team and this isolation project.

“I represent my country which is the first Arab country to participate in this mission. We are going to do around 70 experiments, which will help pave the way to the moon and Mars and beyond also,” he said.

During the isolation, AlAmeri said he likes to spend time reading books, playing chess and chatting with team members to talk about the future.


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