UAE leaders launch programme for Mars missions
The national space programme includes the building of the first scientific city that imitates life on planet Mars.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, launched the national space programme on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during the launch ceremony of the UAE's national space programme, which is the largest integrated scientific plan of its kind in the region. - Wam photo
The two leaders have approved the strategy of the national space programme, which is deemed to be the largest integrated scientific plan of its kind in the region.
The national space programme includes the building of the first scientific city that imitates life on planet Mars. The city shall also include a museum of Mars and specialised laboratories. These are in addition to an experiment laboratory in zero gravity, Arab programe for space exploration, and the launch of the biggest forum of Mars scientists in the world.
They also launched the satellite manufacturing complex, which is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, so the UAE becomes the first Arab country that makes satellites fully indigenously, and shall be reaching Mars by 2021 as part of the Emirates Mars Mission. The UAE will also be the first Arab country to set up a permanent settlement on the red planet by 2117.
The launch ceremony was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
'To the top of the world'
The national space programme has also adopted a new programme to prepare Emirati astronauts along with Hope probe reaching Mars in the next four years, and the long-term plan of 2117 to build the first human settlement on the red planet.
"Our national Space programme constitutes a solid ground to create Emirati human resources specialised in space science, and aims to rehabilitate a generation that will be able to add to human knowledge," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"We aim to send the first Emirati astronaut to space in the next few years, because the UAE is the fastest and more capable country to face such a challenge.
"We will be working from today to train and prepare the first Emirati and Arab spaceman to join the cosmonauts team at the International Space Station."
The UAE space project is a message that shows the ability of the region's people to compete worldwide, he noted.
"We want to tell the world that we are able to contribute to the race of civilisations and make new scientific and cognitive contributions to humanity," Sheikh Mohammed pointed out.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that space exploration is an investment in the minds of Emiratis, Arab human resources and specialised science that will take the UAE to new successes. He added: "The UAE is heading to a new phase of scientific achievements.. We will be supporting our sons till they reach the top in the world."
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his pride and glory in young Emirati scientific competence, emphasising that the UAE's top leaders are very keen on providing their sons with the tools and capabilities that shall open up horizons of innovation, creation and scientific progress and advancement to them.
"We endeavour to provide a better technological and scientific environment to our sons so they could add more development to humanity," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed added. "We are planning for the next decades from now, since the future Emirati generations deserve the best and our young people are able to present quality scientific additions in all areas of specialisation.
"We need to have an active role and make contributions to the humanity's travel to space, and the UAE will be the first Arab country to reach planet Mars and to be an integrated reference for space science, its technologies and its industry in the region," he noted.
The national space programme strives to build national human resources of astronauts and break any hurdle that may hinder their ambitions, he concluded.
UAE's journey into outer space...
UAE Space Agency
> UAE Space Agency launched by presidential decree in 2014
> Aimed at developing world-class space sector that supports development
> Promotes scientific research to support space goals
> Works to attract Emirati youth into space, science and technology fields
> Cooperate with international partners
> Launch date: July 2020
> Cruising distance from Earth to Mars: More than 60 million kilometres
> Cruising time from Earth to Mars: 200 days (approx.)
> Arrives on Mars ("Mars Orbit Insertion")
First Quarter 2021
> Orbit shape: Elliptical (oval)
> Orbit period: 55 hours
> Science operation begins: Mid-2021
> Primary science operations duration: Two years
> Extended science operations duration: Potential for two further years
> Dubai Sat 1 (launched in 2009)
> Dubai Sat 2 (launched in 2013)
> Yahsat 1 (launched in 2011)
> Yahsat 2 (launched in 2012)
> Khalifa sat (to be launched in 2018)
Settlement on Mars
> The UAE will build the first city on Mars as part of the 2117 Mars project
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