Thursday, 4 Mar 2021
The AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Mission team headed on Wednesday to the Marmul Desert in the Governorate of Dhofar to launch the AMADEE-18, a satellite simulation project hosted by the sultanate as one of its international contributions to space research and studies in human space and scientific exploration.

AMADEE-18 Mars Analog Mission team starts experiments in Dhofar desert

It is aimed at raising the level of technologies readiness and creating systems that assistance life of astronauts.

Osama al Busaidi, deputy chairman of the Oman Astronomical Society stated, “The first stage of the project, which started on January 31 and continues until February 8, is the open period during which invited guests, interested parties, journalists and media representatives from inside and outside the sultanate can visit the region.”

He added, “From February 9, the crew will spend three weeks, until March 1, in complete isolation but will be closely monitored by a team. The crew consists of 16 people from France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal and the sultanate [represented by Busaidi].”
He stated that the Omani side will supply the logistical assistance to the crew.

“The team will conduct 19 simulation experiments in all aspects, including tests of spacecraft and robots to collect samples, their movements on a similar surface, their ability to take samples and information and send them to the information centre which will be located in Austria. Some experiments will be shown live on social networking sites.”

AMADEE-18 is the most courageous experiment in the life-span of Mars, preceded by experiments on the surface of a frozen glacier in the Alps and an experiment in an open cave in southern Spain and an additional in the Moroccan desert.

Dr Gernot Gromer, president of the Austrian Space Forum, spoke at the seminar on the experiment in Marmul.

He stated that the aspects that led the sultanate to conduct experiments to simulate living on the Red Planet consist of not only its geological and topographic properties, but also its political stability and higher level of safety.

It also offers a comfy and simple atmosphere for the crew and teams involved in the project.

The project will place the Sultanate of Oman on the map of space study.
The meeting was held beneath the patronage of H E Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, Minister of Oil and Gas.

It was attended by Dr Sheikh al Khattab bin Ghalib al Hinai, deputy chairman of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation and the chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee of the Oman Astronomical Society.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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