Final designs for UAE-built spacecraft unveiled at Dubai summit

The final designs of the Hope Probe, the Arab World’s first interplanetary mission, were unveiled yesterday at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) also released plans of the ‘KhalifaSat’ – the UAE’s first completely indigenously built-satellite.

“We are proud to see the UAE among the top nine countries worldwide for space science investments. As relative newcomers to the global space sector, this success is indicative of our consistent efforts to push boundaries and further establish the UAE as the heart of an Arab scientific future,” said Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, MBRSC Director-General.

The Hope Mars mission aims to provide a holistic study of the Martian atmosphere on a diurnal and seasonal timescale, to identify the main factors of the escape of hydrogen and oxygen the building blocks of water. It is a three-metre tall probe with 600 KW solar panels and will embark soon, on its 55-million-kilometre journey to the Red Planet, with a view to sending the spaceship to Mars by 2021 to coincide with the country’s 50th anniversary. Other key features include state-of-the-art spectrometers and imagers that will capture crucial information on the Martian atmosphere and climate.

“The Mars 2117 programme and the Hope Mars Probe are projects of great importance, as they further boost the UAE’s presence among the international space community,” said Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of Emirates Mars Mission. “The Emirates Mars Mission will give us the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere and reflect the country’s vision for science and technology fields development. With these projects, we have begun a new journey that will last for decades to come and will speed up human endeavours to explore other planets.”

The 2117 Mars initiative is a long-term project, which will first help develop educational institutions and research centres to empower young Emiratis to enter all disciplines of scientific research field. The project will also enable the UAE to play a pioneering role in developing life systems on other planets through research, and testing lifestyles on Mars, as well as providing the best solutions to establish the first human settlement on the Red Planet.

The World Government Summit also saw the launch of the UAE’s Space Settlement Challenge; a dedicated seed grant fund that supports ambitious projects from all areas of research pursuing ideas and concepts to unlock the future of human space habitation.

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