Ambitious plans to boost UAE space programme announced

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Ambitious plans to boost the UAE’s space programme by encouraging future generations of Emiratis to take up space and scientific research were announced on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the objective of the Mars 2117 Project is to develop the skills and capacities of nationals.

“The Mars 2117 Project is a long-term project, Our first objective is to develop our educational system so our sons will be able to lead scientific research across the various sectors.”

In 2015, the UAE announced its Mars Probe mission, which will send the Arab world’s first spacecraft to the Red Planet by 2021.

“The UAE became part of a global scientific drive to explore space and we hope to serve humanity through this project,” added Sheikh Mohammed.

The project was announced on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, which ended on Tuesday.

“The new project is a seed that we plant today and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to unveil a new knowledge,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said.

The UAE is among the top investors in space sciences, Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that it aims to accelerate research in this field.

“Human ambitions have no limits and whoever looks into the scientific breakthroughs in the current century believes that human abilities can realise the most important human dream.”

The Mars project aims, at its final stage, to establish a human settlement on Mars by 2117.