Egyptian adventurer Omar Samra has returned from a lunar simulation mission focusing on researching human factors in space.
On the 49th anniversary of the moon landing Samra, was chosen to be part of team SPECTRA, a team of five analogue astronauts who conducted 40 research projects over two weeks in complete isolation.
The experiment took place in the Lunares simulation facility in the city of Pila, Poland in July.
I work on motivating or inspiring the largest amount of people in the Arab region and especially Egypt to look at the space as a matter of reality, not science fiction
The facility was built to demonstrate what a space habitat would feel like and is completely isolated from the environment.
Its infrastructure allows the constant monitoring of the health and behaviours of the crew.
The mission’s goal was to provide insights into human traits essential for a future lunar settlement.
“We take records of blood pressure, temperature, weight, twice or three times per day, so that we have a full picture of how people’s bodies change in such an atmosphere,” he said.
During the mission, different experiments were conducted including ones that used virtual reality technology.
Crews were also trained on operating hazardous equipment during space walks.
Samra was picked by the mission commander, Dr. Sarah Jane Pell, due to his extensive expertise in exploration and in navigating difficult terrains.
His responsibilities during the mission included growing Egyptian arugula and red radish micro-greens, as well as monitoring the crew’s physical performance research, which aimed at understanding how astronauts can work and live better in space.
But, Samra knows just how difficult it is to become an astronaut. He is now advancing his learnings in the hopes that privatised space missions will have a spot for him in the future.
Yet the Egyptian adventurer wants to be an inspiration for young Arabs to believe that they can make it to space, even if he does not.
“I work on motivating or inspiring the largest amount of people in the Arab region and especially Egypt to look at the space as a matter of reality, not science fiction,” he said.
Samra was the only Egyptian and one of 40 people in history to complete the Explorers Grand Slam, a feat to reach the North and South Pole and all of the Seven Summits. His nex stop, is space, he hopes.