UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


The first UK analogue space research mission


An analogue space mission is a simulation of the conditions in space, which provides an opportunity to rehearse research in a lower-risk environment. This project will be the first pilot analogue research mission in the UK.

The simulation will be low-fidelity, replicating the topography of the Moon or Mars, physical remoteness and limited resources for healthcare provision. The pilot analogue mission will be an extravehicular activity (EVA – spacewalk), exploring the geography of a remote and unihabited island in Scotland. Throughout the mission there will be three case studies, during which the analogue astronauts will need to care for simulated patients. The analogue astronauts will be healthcare practitioners or qualified first aiders with prolonged field care experience (prehospital healthcare in remote environments).

The aim is to investigate how prolonged, holistic and interdisciplinary healthcare can be provided with limited resources to reduce the risk of disaster (medical emergency requiring aero-medical evacuation) in a remote environment.

The objectives are:

  • Evaluate the findings of the space health and disaster risk reduction symposium.
  • Explore the perspectives of analogue astronauts providing prolonged, holistic and interdisciplinary healthcare in three case studies of healthcare scenarios during the EVA exploration of another planetary body.
  • Quantify the physiological impact to health while in a remote environment.
  • Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to a high-fidelity analogue space mission with a semi-permanent base in the UK. 

The pilot analogue space research mission will take place in Spring 2022. A call for analogue astronauts will open soon.