Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Dubai, has shortlisted 10 Emiratis out of over 100 applicants for the UAE Analog Mission#1 as part of the Scientific International Research in Unique Terrestrial Station (SIRIUS) SIRIUS 20/21, an 8-month analog mission conducted at the NEK ground-based analogue facility in Moscow, Russia.
The shortlist follows the MBRSC’s call for applications announced in February this year. Two finalists (one primary and one backup) will be selected from the shortlist to become part of CrewONE. The mission will focus on studying the effects of isolation and confinement on human psychology, physiology and team dynamics to help prepare for long-duration space exploration.
This is a first of its kind opportunity for Emiratis in various scientific fields to be part of such a crucial mission that lays the foundation for future space endeavours. The UAE Analog Mission#1 will play a key role in developing Emirati capabilities and contribute to the development of the Mars 2117 Programme, which aims to establish human colonies in Mars by 2117.
During the call for applications, MBRSC announced that it was looking for Emirati candidates between the ages of 25 and 55, who were passionate about space and can communicate in English. Preferred occupations included physicians, medical investigators, physiologists, biologists, life-support specialists, and IT and electronics professionals.
The MBRSC revealed that the shortlisted candidates include five women, with the youngest candidate being a 25-year-old woman. The oldest shortlisted applicant is a 40-year-old male. All the candidates come from varied career backgrounds including engineering, medicine and science. While all ten candidates possessed the requirements in the eligibility criteria, they were shortlisted for their soft skill capabilities including their ability to stay calm under pressure, independent nature, analytical skills and more.
All ten qualified candidates will now undergo a medical exam to ascertain their fitness levels and ensure they do not have any chronic illness. A remote psychometric test will follow the medicals. The candidates will be evaluated and tested on their commitment, teamwork, ability to stay calm under pressure and effective time management, among other vital skills.
Following these tests, a final interview will be conducted by the senior leadership team at MBRSC in the first week of May, after which one primary member and one backup member of CrewONE will be selected.
During his inspection tour at Al Kuwait Hospital, Dubai, on May 2, Dr Mohamed Salim Al Olama, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), honoured, the first two Emirati female doctors, Dr Fayeza Ahmed Youssef and Dr Aisha Al Shiba, who were graduated from the Arab Board of Health Specializations.
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