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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 January 2019

UAE Space Agency prepares Mars mission announcement

The agency plans to create an integrated and advanced industry, combined with space science educational programmes, so that the UAE can send an unmanned space probe to Mars by 2021.

ABU DHABI // The UAE Space Agency will reveal its strategy and operational plan tomorrow as part of its goal to make the country a leader in space exploration.

The agency plans to create an integrated and advanced industry, combined with space science educational programmes, so that the UAE can send an unmanned space probe to Mars by 2021. With an investment of almost Dh20 billion in commercial and scientific space projects, the Government hopes the country will become an international player within the space sector.

The investment will be shared among several companies and space programmes, including satellite communications companies Yahsat, Thuraya and the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology, which will lead the DubaiSAT 1 and 2 programmes.

The agency will also announce the creation of a space museum aimed at enhancing knowledge of the space industry.

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a member of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre’s science and research team, has also set up a team of researchers to ensure its academic output aids the space programme.

It is estimated that 150 Emirati scientists and engineers will be needed to work on the Mars mission by 2020. To meet this growing need for specialists, the institute is planning to launch space-orientated education programmes.

“Masdar Institute is committed to supporting the UAE’s space ambitions and needs,” said Dr Mohammed Sassi, professor of mechanical and materials science.

“The team we have set up is tasked with ensuring that Masdar Institute is able to support the UAE’s Mars Mission to the fullest, capitalising on the diverse and high-value expertise of our faculty, our programmes, our students and our research infrastructure.”

The agency’s launch comes one day before the start of the fifth Global Space & Satellite Forum at Adnec.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Updated: May 23, 2015 04:00 AM

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