Dr Sarita Dara, an Aerospace Medicine Physician, and a member of Homeward Bound’s (HB8) cohort of 100 women, was recently honoured to be part of the MMAARS Crew 2301 Mars Medic V, a unique space medicine project simulating a mission to Mars. Dr Dara was one of eight remarkable women with diverse talents, all aiming to push the boundaries of scientific research and collaboration.

The inaugural simulated mission to Mars took place in the Mojave Desert, California, in November 2023.

Photo: Analog Astronaut Dr Sarita Dara (HB8).  Credit: Sarita Dara


During the mission, Dr Dara delved into various research projects, including her own investigation into sleep and fatigue in simulated space conditions. The crew engaged in cross-disciplinary collaboration within STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), showcasing the power of a unified approach to space exploration. The crew continue training and preparation for future missions in different environments.

Photo: MMAARS Crew 2301 – MARS MEDIC V.  Credit: MMAARS


The Mars Medic V crew are also actively participating in outreach activities to schools, communities, and university students worldwide inspiring the next generation of space enthusiasts.

The versatility and adaptability of these women reflect the changing landscape of space exploration, challenging traditional norms and stereotypes.

Beyond the scientific achievements, the Analog Astronautics Missions are a powerful statement on gender equality in space exploration. The Mars Medic V crew exemplified the strides women are making in pivotal roles within the field, proving that they are not only capable but essential for the success of future space endeavors.

Photo: Crew Night EVA. Credit: MMAARS

Photo: Crew Geological EVA. Credit: MMAARS


Dr Sarita Dara’s journey is truly inspiring. We eagerly anticipate witnessing her continued success and the positive impact she will undoubtedly make in the future.

More about Dr Dara’s mission and the Mars-Moon Astronautics Academy and Research Science (MMAARS) can be found here: