Mission accomplished: UAE astronaut steps out after 8-month isolation

Simulations included an exit from the earth’s orbit, flight to an assumed planet and return to earth


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 2:02 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Jul 2022, 10:08 PM

Astronaut Saleh AlAmeri has emerged after completing his his eight-month-long isolation mission as part of the first UAE Analog Astronaut mission at the NEK ground-based analogue facility in Moscow, Russia.

The Emirati is a part of the Sirius-21 crew that has been in isolation since November 2021, during which he became a father. He will be eagerly looking forward to meeting his newborn daughter.

Other crew members include Russian commander Oleg Blinov, American flight engineer Ashley Kowalski, Russian researcher Ekaterina Karyakina, Russian Flight Surgeon Victoria Kirichenko and American researcher William Brown.

Stages of the experiment included an exit from the Earth’s orbit, flight to an assumed planet, landing of a module, performance of scientific research and a return to Earth.

Saleh AlAmeri was accompanied by Abdallah AlHammadi, who is the backup astronaut. Both are at the IBMP (Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences) facility.

Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati and Arab in space, congratulated Al Ameri for his achievement.

UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi sent his congratulations as well.

Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev also sent a video message from the International Space Station to the crew of the Sirius 21 mission after the successful completion of their 8-month isolation.

Analog missions are vital in preparing humans for future exploration of Mars and other planets. By simulating space-like conditions here on Earth, analog missions play a significant role in spaceflight research.

The project – Sirius 20/21 – analog missions are studying the psychological and physiological effects of isolation on humans and team dynamics to help prepare for long-term space exploration missions.

From the space technology used, to human isolation, from communication to the ground station and space experiments, these missions cover everything required to survive in space.


The UAE Analog Mission#1 is a pivotal step towards the Mars 2117 programme, which aims to build a human settlement on Mars by 2117. The research and outcomes of the UAE Analog Mission will add new insights for the global science community and catalyse the development of new technologies for future missions to other destinations in space.

The first Emirati analog mission completed 70 scientific experiments. They are:

  • Psychological and psychophysiological research: 29 experiments
  • Physiological research: 25 experiments
  • Immunity studies: 4 experiments
  • Metabolic, biochemical and molecular biological research: 5 experiments
  • Telemedicine experiments: 1 experiment
  • Sanitary-hygienic and microbiological studies: 6 experiments

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