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The first simulation in Israel of a mission to Mars has begun

Six scientists and experts "landed" in a secret and isolated place in the Mitzpe Ramon area to participate in a Mars simulation project D-mars, which is being held for the first time in Israel in collaboration with the Israel Space Agency. The simulation is designed to explore and simulate life on the planet Mars.

Who among us does not dream of reaching an unknown planet, saying hello to our parents and above all being recorded in the pages of history as the first to set foot there. On Thursday (February 15), six scientists and experts arrived at a secret and isolated place in the Mitzpe Ramon area to participate inMars simulation project D-mars, imaging that takes place for the first time in Israel in collaboration with the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science. The simulation is designed to explore and simulate possible life in the near future on the planet Mars. In the simulation, the participants will be disconnected from the world, carry out research, build a structure suitable for Martian conditions and walk around in space suits.

"Space agencies around the world are already busy preparing for a trip to Mars and solving the many technological challenges on the way there," says Israel Space Agency director Avi Blasberger. "Among the challenges they are trying to crack are building a spaceship and an engine that can fit the long journey, the effect of cosmic radiation on man, transporting and erecting a structure on the spot, living in a small and isolated group, communicating with the Earth and more. Israel already has a part in the preparations for the journey to Mars by developing technologies to defend against radiation."

Mars simulations are held in a few places in the world. A large simulation is taking place in Utah, where the doctoral student Rui Naor was sent last year as an Israeli representative on behalf of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science. Mitzpe Ramon is considered one of the few places in the world that simulate conditions that are relatively close to the conditions prevailing on the surface of Mars. The area is similar to Mars in terms of soil structure, geology, aridity, appearance and isolation. The environment provides an ideal combination for space simulations, which is difficult to find in other parts of the world. At the same time as the Israeli simulation, an international simulation is currently taking place in Oman. The two simulations, which will also communicate with each other in a communication experiment and a cosmic radiation experiment, and will also compare results, as part of the Austrian space forum that visited here.

For the purpose of the project, students from the Technion, led by architects Alon Shikar and Moshe Tsagai, designed and built the "Habitat" - a futuristic structure on Mars that will be placed in Mitzpe Ramon where the participants will live, and later a visitor center will be built next to it and it will be opened to the general public. The spacesuits were designed and sewn especially for the project by the fashion designer Alon Livna and contain life support systems, a helmet, gloves and special shoes, in which the participants will walk while leaving the building to carry out the research.

The six "Ramonauts". PR photo.
The "Ranauts". PR photo.

Six "Ramonauts" - a combination of Mitzpe Ramon and astronauts - were chosen for the mission, each participant will be responsible for a different aspect of the mission: as part of the first round of the project, which will last four days and will be the first experimental pilot after which long missions will be carried out, the Ramonauts will perform five different experiments:

Dr. Hillel Rubinstein (40) - Postdoctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University researching missions to Mars and developing a concept for an observational satellite in very low orbit. In addition, also a nature and animal lover. Dr. Rubinstein is the commander of the mission and is in charge of the communication experiment in which they will try to communicate via satellite communication between Mitzpe Ramon and imaging in Oman.

Dr. Reot Sorek-Abramovich (39) - holder of a doctorate in microbiology and immunology, founder of the Israeli Mars Association and lecturer in astrobiology at the International Space University. In addition, she is a fan of fantasy and dance concerts and ethnic dances. Dr. Sorek-Abramovich is the mission's science officer and will be responsible for three simulation experiments: a search for life research through the collection of soil samples, a feasibility study of XNUMXD printing from local soil and a psychological experiment on the effect of isolation and stress conditions on the functioning of astronauts.

Prof. Guy Ron (42) - nuclear physics expert from the Hebrew University, the researcher of particle accelerators in different parts of the world, and in addition - in his free time he teaches martial arts and acrobatics. Prof. Ron will be in charge of the mission for the research on measuring cosmic rays that will be conducted simultaneously at Mitzpe Ramon and at the simulation in Oman.

Jacqueline Fay (32) - the director of the music center at Mitzpe Ramon and an astronomy tour guide, and in addition - a cello player. In the mission you will be responsible for documenting the mission and writing a menu for Mars.

the architect Alon Shikar (37) - has an independent architecture and design practice and is a lecturer at the Technion, specializes in the design of educational buildings and in addition - leads design and urban art activities, and is an avid sports fan. Shikar will be responsible for building the habitat and documenting the mission.

Nadav Kushnir (37) - A student of social work and a tour guide, he is involved in guiding educational processes and treatments in the field with individuals and groups, a lecturer for experiential learning, and in addition - the owner of a clinic for treatment with the help of the field. Kushnir will be the mission's medical officer.

As part of the project, additional isolation missions are planned with the participation of high school students as part of the "School for Astronauts" program at the Dodson Institute for Science Education, and in the future representatives from the general public may be selected.

The project operates educational programs in collaboration with the Davidson Institute for Science Education, the Israel Space Agency and the YKA Foundation and works in collaboration with the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center and Mitzpe Ramon Local Council. The center also develops scientific programs and experiments with Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University, the Minerva Center at the Davidson Institute and the Technion. The companies Ormat, Danpal and Alfa Projects contributed to the construction of the building. A space suit was designed by the designer Alon Birvena. The communications for the mission will be provided by the Amos 7 satellite of Halal Communications and Gilat Telecom.

One response

  1. I wonder if the Syrian Hermon would not have been a better place, also in terms of remoteness, also in terms of the low air density, the dry, arid and cold conditions, and also in terms of the risk of meeting and dealing with particularly hostile aliens.

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