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Sun 21 Sep 2014 12:06 PM

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UAE space agency approves budget for Mars probe

UAE will launch unmanned probe in next seven years

UAE space agency approves budget for Mars probe

The board of the newly established UAE Space Agency has approved its annual budget at its first meeting held recently. The board also discussed the progress made on the Mars probe project, according to the report on Gulf Today

The agency intends to launch the first Arabic and Islamic unmanned probe to Mars to explore the Red Planet during the next seven years.

The probe will be launched in a journey that takes nine months to travel more than 60 million kilometres, making the UAE among the nine countries in the world which have space programmes aimed at exploring the Red Planet.

Dr Khalifa Mohammed Rumaithi, who chaired the first meeting, said space science was both economically and strategically important.

He said the UAE has the ability to strongly invest in space science, with current national investments estimated at nearly AED20 billion ($5.44 billion).

These investments are shared among several companies and space programmes, such as the successful programme of Yahsat Satellite Communications, which is one of the latest space systems in the Arab region to provide secure communications and television broadcasting services of HD and broadband internet services.

He explained that the Emirates Foundation of Science and Advanced Technologies is working on the study, design and the manufacturing of several satellites to monitor the Earth.

Two of them have been already launched (Dubai Sat-1) and (Dubai SAT-2). It has also been preparing to manufacture Khalifa SAT in the country by Emirati engineers and technicians, he added.

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