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 ...

UAE coronavirus death toll rises to 10 (Update)

June 4, 2014

The MERS coronavirus has killed 10 people and infected 68 in the United Arab Emirates since March 2013, the health minister said in comments published in the media on Wednesday.

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

Video: A colorful 'landing' on Pluto

January 20, 2017

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip ...

Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

January 20, 2017

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods—with a rare treat of Spam—and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace.

The evolution of massive galaxy clusters

January 20, 2017

Galaxy clusters have long been recognized as important laboratories for the study of galaxy formation and evolution. The advent of the new generation of millimeter and submillimeter wave survey telescopes, like the South ...

Image: Wavemaker moon Daphnis

January 20, 2017

The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small ...

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.