UAE to host top space industry show amid Mars ambition

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre says it will host the International Conference on Space Operations 2022
By Sam Bridge
Tue 12 Jun 2018 02:09 PM

The UAE has won a bid to host the International Conference on Space Operations (SpaceOps) 2022 as it plans to develop as a key hub for the global space industry.

Yousuf Al Shaibani, director general of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced the news at the 15th Annual International SpaceOps Conference in Marseilles, France.

The UAE is aiming to develop its capabilities in space sciences, research and engineering is set to develop a hub to attract global talent as well as drive innovation, foster economic development and create new job opportunities.

More than 1,000 young Emiratis have registered to the UAE's Astronaut Programme which was launched last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The UAE has also announced plans for a AED500 million ($136 million) project to build a city that simulates life on Mars.

The city, which will be spread across 1.9 million square feet, is part of the UAE's Mars 2117 project which aims to build a city on the Red Planet within 100 years.

Shaibani said: “We envisage the UAE as becoming a key global hub for the development of space sciences, research and engineering and to that end we are pleased to be hosting two of the world’s leading conference events dedicated to the space industry."

As well as SpaceOps 2022, the UAE will host the 71st International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in 2020.

"These milestone events mark our determination to make the UAE a global hub for space technology," he added.

The biannual SpaceOps conference has been held globally since 1990. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre joined the SpaceOps committee in 2015 and regularly represents the UAE in SpaceOps meetings.

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Last Updated: Tue 12 Jun 2018 02:20 PM GST

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