UAE to create space agency, send unmanned probe to Mars

July 16, 2014
A view of Mars from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, released on August, 27, 2003

Oil-rich United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday it will create a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.

"The UAE has entered the race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab world's first mission to another planet," said an Emirati government statement.

It added that a UAE Space Agency is to be created to drive the project.

"We chose the epic challenge of reaching Mars because epic challenges inspire us and motivate us," said the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

The statement said UAE investments in space technologies have already topped 20 billion dirhams ($5.44 billion).

The country has Al-Yah Satellite Communications, a data and television broadcast company, mobile satellite communication company Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications, and Earth mapping and observation system Dubai Sat.

The new agency will coordinate the country's space technology sector and supervise the probe mission which will take nine months to make the journey to Mars.

The United Arab Emirates, a seven-emirate federation formed in 1971, will become the ninth country in the world with space programmes to explore the Red Planet, according to the statement.

Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai (left) looks at a mock-up of the "Mall of the World" project during its presentation in Dubai on July 6, 2014

Explore further: UAE: Egypt-based computer hackers foiled

Related Stories

UAE: Egypt-based computer hackers foiled

July 22, 2013

(AP)—Officials in the United Arab Emirates say they have thwarted an attempt by Egypt-based hackers to bring down UAE government websites in apparent retaliation for backing the forces that ousted Islamist President Mohammed ...

UAE developing drones for citizen services

February 12, 2014

The United Arab Emirates hopes to start using drones to fly government documents to citizens and is offering a $1 million international prize for unmanned aircraft that can improve the quality of life in the oil-rich Gulf ...

India's mission to Mars crosses half-way mark

April 9, 2014

India's first mission to Mars successfully crossed the half-way mark on Wednesday, four months after leaving on an voyage to the Red Planet scheduled to take 11 months, the space agency said.

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.