The United Arab Emirates or the UAE is getting ready to set its foot on Mars. The UAE is considered as a new entrant in the race of sending humans to Mars. As per the latest reports, the UAE government is investing a huge sum of money for its upcoming Mars missions.
The UAE space agency is planning to launch its first mission to Mars in the year 2021. If the mission becomes successfully then the UAE space agency will then target to send humans to Mars by the year 2117. The UAE has named its maiden Martian mission as ‘Hope’ and the spacecraft that will go to Mars is dubbed the “Hope Mars Probe”. As the UAE has no rockets of its own, it will definitely depend on other space agencies to launch its Hope Probe. The space agency will launch its maiden Mars mission from Japan.
As per reports, UAE has invested around 20 billion dirhams ($5.4 billion) for the Mars programme and is also building a Dh500-million Mars Science city on the Emirati desert. The Mars science city will include laboratories for food, energy, water, and agricultural testing inside it. Also, the Mars City will have separated isolated area that will mimic or simulate the conditions found on Mars. Hence, one can say that UAE has completely turned its focus towards space research and exploration. The small Gulf state does not want itself to be remembered as an oil and gas dependent state. Salem Humaid AlMarri, assistant director general for science and technology at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai said that they want to create their own missions and develop their own satellites.
The UAE space agency is planning to send its first Arab made satellite KhalifaSat to space by the end of 2018. AlMarri informed that previously it was hard to recruit local engineers but now the recruitment process has eased and they have got more enquirers than the number posts available. If the UAE successfully sends its Hope Probe to Mars then it will become the first Arab nation to do so. The Hope Probe will be launched from Japon in the year 2020 and is expected to reach Mars by 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE, as reported by CNN. Project manager Omran Sharaf said that the Mars project is on time and on schedule.