Sheikh Mohammed approves design of UAE probe to Mars

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, approved the designs for the Hope space probe that will explore Mars.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Dubai Crown Prince, visit the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Space Centre. Wam
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DUBAI // The designs of the UAE's Hope probe to Mars were approved on Wednesday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who also announced progress on the first Arab satellite.

The probe will carry its name in Arabic letters, taking the language to the Red Planet for the first time when it arrives in 2021, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai said during his visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

He issued directives to begin construction on the first prototypes of the probe, which is the first of its kind in the Arab and Islamic world. It makes the UAE one of only nine countries aspiring to explore Mars.

“The UAE’s ambition is to explore outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars,” he said.

“The Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for UAE’s scientific efforts, it the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard.”

During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed also inaugurated the second phase of a satellite manufacturing facility in Dubai, and said the first component had been added on the chassis of KhalifaSat, the first Arab satellite, being made entirely by Emirati engineers.

“The UAE today has the full capacity to manufacture and build satellites with any foreign technical support,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

“We are planning to become a leading regional hub for space industries and we will continue developing [an] Emirati workforce highly specialised in space technologies.”

Sheikh Mohammed shared a picture of him adding the component on social media. The picture also featured Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, all wearing blue lab coats over traditional clothes.

We added the first component on the chassis of KhalifaSat, the first satellite in the Arab World made fully by our young Emirati engineers. pic.twitter.com/REVCqnyKOf

The Vice President said the average age of the Emirati engineering team at the space centre is 27, and 40 per cent are women, describing them as the pride of the UAE. He said space technology had been used to create the first sustainable house disconnected from Dubai’s power grid.

KhalifaSat is set to launch in 2018, while the Hope probe is expected to reach the Red Planet in 2021, coinciding with celebrations for the UAE's 50th National Day.

Yousef Al Shaibani, director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, said these initiatives embody UAE ambitions in renewable energy and space.

The UAE is offering “a new model for modern countries by adopting innovation and launching strategies that establish sustainable economic growth,” he said.

“The opening of the second phase of the Space Technologies Laboratories is a qualitative step that will take the satellite industry and space technology to new heights, and place the UAE amongst the world’s top developed countries in the space sector.”

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