CEMA joins moon mission simulation team
imagem da lua


This is the first mission carried out in Portugal to simulate a human journey to the Moon. It will take place in a cave in the Azores from November 22 to 28, and involves a multidisciplinary team of various nationalities. Portugal is represented by Eva Alves, from CEMA, FMUL.

The interior of a cave on the island of Terceira is the setting for a week-long stay for seven people from five countries, including "Eva Alves, a physiatrist and assistant at CEMA who will be part of the vast Mission Control team", as explained by Edson Oliveira, one of the people in charge of CEMA, together with Prof. Fausto Pinto and Prof. Thaís Russomano from FMUL, invited by Pedro Caetano, a Portuguese aerospace medical expert from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), who will also be taking part in the mission, want this to be the first of several missions that will take place on Portuguese soil.

Professor a falar

Physician Edson Oliveira also explained that "this is going to be the shortest mission of all the missions that are planned", and that he expects news soon. Unfortunately, due to scheduling reasons, he won't be able to take part in the 7-day mission, but Eva Alves will be representing CEMA. 

The project is promoted by the "Os Montanheiros" Association, which manages Natal cave, where the mission will take place, and by the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (Inesc Tec) and will be officially presented on November 8, at the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory.


gruta do Natal - ilha terceira
Natal Cave - Terceira Island


This is the first mission of Camões project - Caving Analog Mission for Ocean, Earth and Space Exploration - which "will allow the Azores to become a test bed for astronauts from all over the world", Ana Pires, researcher at Inesc Tec and coordinator of the mission, told Público newspaper. She added that "by doing this training, by being in a confined environment, we can test technologies, do science, carry out lots of experiments, but also test our own limits as humans".

Credits: By Açores