The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center announced the selection of Abdullah Al Hammadi, the lead space simulation pioneer for the Emirates Space Simulation Project (Mission No. 1), as part of the international scientific research at the Earth Station (Cyrus 20/21), which is a simulation mission that will last for 8 months. It was conducted in the Ground Experimental Complex of the Institute of Medical and Biological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, as of November 4, 2021.
Al Hammadi will be accompanied by three space simulators from the Russian Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as two astronauts from the US space agency “NASA”. This group will be part of the crew (Crew 1), while the mission will focus on studying the effects of isolation on human psychological aspects, physiology, and teamwork, to help prepare for long-term space exploration missions.
Emirati astronaut Saleh Al Ameri will serve as a standby candidate for the mission, and will provide support to Abdullah from the Operations Center, and will study data sets obtained from experiments during this mission.
His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, said: “We are facing an opportunity to gain unique experiences through the simulation mission “Cyrus” (20/21), in order to share our vision to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers to explore space. The long-term. Over the past two decades, the UAE has made a significant contribution to the global space sector, through multiple space programs and initiatives. The current simulation mission is a continuation of this process. The UAE has made the advancement of the space sector a major priority, and will maintain this approach as announced by our wise leadership in the vision of the next fifty years.”
His Excellency Yousef Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, said: “Our participation in the simulation mission will contribute to enhancing the long historical journey that the United Arab Emirates has embarked on, and the collaborative initiatives it included that will benefit all of humanity. and to support the long-term growth of the global space economy. The precise requirements of this task also represent an opportunity that we must take advantage of in the framework of our preparations for the Emirates project to explore Mars 2117, and work to establish a knowledge bank that will benefit from it for future generations. We are confident that Abdullah and Saleh realize the extent of their responsibility, and will be the pioneers of tomorrow thanks to their involvement in the current mission.”
The astronauts (Crew No. 1) will conduct more than 70 experiments during the duration of the mission. It will also include five entries from four universities in the UAE, covering the fields of physiology, psychology and biology, and will also be part of trials selected after consultation with mission partners in Russia.
Among the research topics selected for the mission is research from the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, focusing on the effects of prolonged exposure to a simulated space environment on cardiovascular variability and cardiac interactions. At the same time, the research subject, chosen from the University of Sharjah, proposes a study to determine the effects of stress from confinement and isolation on the circulatory and skeletal muscle functions of crew members during the task of measuring clinical, genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic indicators.
Other topics selected for the assignment include research submitted by the American University of Sharjah on stress relief in isolation and confined environment, while the United Arab Emirates University proposed research on the psychological challenges of isolation during human spaceflight: the role of motivational mechanisms and intermittent and intense training as a countermeasure to prevent osteoporosis loss. and insulin resistance in the space environment.
The Cyrus series is an international assignment that takes place at the Russian Academy of Sciences in the capital, Moscow. The series aims primarily to research the effects of isolation and confinement on the human body and health, and the mission is also part of the space exploration strategy that NASA has included in the human research program.
The crew members are isolated and assigned certain tasks to be performed, without any contact with the outside world, with the development of the scenario of the real operation to return to Earth. The mission is developing different stages and scenarios for a manned mission to Mars, which includes all stages, including launch, orbit, landing, and then return to Earth.
The Cirrus program focuses on providing multicultural crews for sustainable missions on trips to Mars or other space exploration, despite their different cultural backgrounds. These tasks are an essential part of understanding how our bodies react when in isolation, and the consequences that this has for not only our bodies, but also for other people in an enclosed space.
Through its participation in the Cirrus mission, the UAE will play a key role in developing Emirati capabilities, and contribute to the development of the Emirates Program for Exploration of Mars 2117, which aims to establish human colonies on the Red Planet by 2117. This initiative is funded by the Information and Communication Technology Fund of the Authority Regulating communications and digital government.