May 21, 2024
Space UAE

Shareef Al Romaithi Joins UAE Analogue Programme

Emirati Is Part Of NASA Mission

The Dubai-based Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced the appointment of Emirati crew member Shareef Al Romaithi for the second analogue study of the UAE Analogue Programme, which is part of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analogue (HERA) Campaign 7 Mission 2.

Scheduled to commence on May 10, 2024, Al Romaithi, along with fellow crew members Jason Lee, Stephanie Navarro, and Piyumi Wijesekara, will spend 45 days in the Human Exploration Research Analogue (HERA) habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, United States, and will exit on June 24, 2024.

HERA serves as a pivotal environment for simulating space-like conditions on Earth. Designed to facilitate comprehensive studies on crew adaptation to isolation, confinement, and remote settings, HERA aids in preparing astronauts for deep space missions.

During their tenure, HERA Campaign 7 Mission 2 crew members will engage in scientific research and operational tasks simulating missions to Mars, including virtual reality excursions onto the Martian surface and experiencing communication delays mirroring those anticipated during actual missions.

UAE Commitment

The UAE’s participation in the HERA Campaign 7 Mission 2 underscores the Arabian Gulf country’s commitment to pioneering scientific research for forthcoming lunar and Martian exploration missions.

With 18 human health studies conducted on Earth across four phases, this analogue study seeks to unravel physiological, behavioural, and psychological responses akin to those experienced during extended space missions.

MBRSC collaborates with the United Arab Emirates University, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the American University of Sharjah to spearhead six crucial studies, accentuating the UAE’s role in advancing human space exploration.

Analogue
Credit: MBRSC

Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director-General of MBRSC, expressed his satisfaction with Al Romaithi’s selection, hailing it as a stride towards the UAE’s space exploration ambitions.

Al-Marri stressed the mission’s fusion of scientific research and international collaboration with NASA, highlighting its potential to deepen understanding of the challenges of long-duration space travel.

He reiterated the UAE’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration and inspiring future generations to participate in the sector.

Shareef Al Romaithi, a pilot with over 16 years of experience in the airline industry, boasts an impressive educational background, including multiple master’s degrees and a doctorate in aviation.

As part of the second cohort of volunteers for the HERA analogue study in 2024, Al Romaithi brings a wealth of expertise and leadership cultivated through his extensive aviation career.

The first phase of the second HERA analogue study concluded on March 11, 2024, with subsequent phases slated to commence on August 9, 2024, and November 1, 2024, respectively.

Featured image: Shareef Al Romaithi is a seasoned pilot. Credit: MBRSC

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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