New impetus to UAE’s space quest

SHARJAH, 14th April, 2017 (WAM) — As the UAE’s space ambitions soar and highly-talented Emiratis are trained to become leaders in the space sector, a clear message is being sent out to the world: Emiratis are willing and able to take on any challenge. The sky’s the limit, literally, a UAE daily commented on Friday.

”The launching of the UAE National Space Programme and approval of the programme’s strategy on Wednesday by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has pushed the ambitious plans to a higher level. wrote The Gulf Today in its editorial today.

Importantly, it said, young Emirati cadres will execute the programme. A satellite manufacturing complex has also been been set up as part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center.

”The launch and placing into orbit of Dubai Sat 1 and Dubai Sat 2 are already among the remarkable feats. The UAE then decided to enter the space race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab World’s first-ever mission to another planet. The Emirates Mars Mission is set to launch the Hope spacecraft in July 2020 on a seven-month journey to the Red Planet,” the Sharjah-based daily added.

Interestingly, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency Dr Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi earlier highlighted that the path to space dates back to 1976, when the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan met the NASA team responsible for the Apollo Moon programme.

That meeting, it noted, inspired nearly three decades of efforts guiding the UAE towards space and will be realised with the arrival of the Hope Probe at the Red Planet in the coming years.

Charles Bolden, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, had also earlier praised the efforts of various competent institutions in the UAE in the field of space exploration.

As Sheikh Mohammed himself elaborated, “Our national space programme is a solid platform to prepare Emirati cadres specialised in airspace sciences, and qualify future generations that are able to contribute to humanity knowledge. We plan to send the first Emirati astronaut to space over the next few years, and we are preparing the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to join scientists at the International Space Station.”

”The vigorous promotion of scientific talent by the UAE leadership will definitely ensure positive rewards for the future generations,” The Gulf Today concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency