The UAE has launched a $545,000 (AED2m) seed grant fund to support new and international projects into space settlement and habitation.
Established by the Dubai Future Foundation, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Settlement Challenge will finance the ideas and help develop new business models for living and working in space.
The Challenge opened today and will run for a month. It will use scientific collaboration platform Guaana, which reduces time and effort required to fund seed ideas.
The UAE has launched a number of projects to help it lead the global space race, such as establishing the first city on Mars, according to the 2117 Mars Project.
“Space research is the logical next step in humanity’s search for knowledge and survival, and an advanced means to preserve human cultures, societies and economies. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Settlement Challenge we are launching today is designed to provide support for creative minds, unconventional ideas, innovative designs and research,” said Dubai Future Foundation CEO Khalfan Belhoul.
The competition is the first project of the newly established Mohammed Bin Rashed Centre for Accelerated Research.
It is made up of three categories. The first, which revolves around Space Settlement, aims to find and develop locations in space that could support a sustainable settlement and accommodate at least 100 people. It explores issues such as construction automation, power, food, water and heating and cooling.
The second category, Terraforming & Space Ecology, looks into creating liveable and long-term environments near the Moon, Mars, asteroids and other orbital habitats.
The third category, Economics, Business Model & Governance, seeks to cultivate business plans for economics and identify private-sector partners interested in conducting commercial activities in space.
The Challenge will also promote peaceful settlement in space.
Applications can be submitted on www.mbrspacechallenge.ae
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