Watch: Emirati pilot all set to enter NASA’s 45-day simulated Mars journey with UAE flag, daughters’ pictures

Adnan Al Rais AND Shareef-1715262943133
Adnan Al Rais, right, and Dr Shareef Al Romaithi at the virtual media briefing on Thursday.
Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Dubai: Dr Shareef Al Romaithi, an Emirati pilot selected as the first UAE crew member for NASA’s simulated Mars journey for 45 days, is all set to embark on the mission in Houston, US, on Friday.

Dr Al Romaithi will step into the US space agency’s Human Exploration Research Analog, or HERA, proudly carrying the UAE flag and his family pictures, including that of his three little daughters whom he said he is going to miss the most.

HERA is a unique 650-square-feet habitat split among two floors and a loft, designed to serve as an analog for isolation, confinement, and remote conditions in exploration scenarios.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

The world’s youngest and eighth graduate to attain a doctorate in aviation, Dr Al Romaithi is taking part in the second analog study of the UAE Analog Programme by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Addressing a virtual media roundtable with select UAE journalists on Thursday, Dr Al Romaithi said he was mentally and physically prepared for the mission.