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Thu 25 Jul 2019 11:03 AM

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Video: UAE's space missions and Mars probe explained

The world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landings last week and I thought this might be a good time to give you a quick update on what's happening with the UAE's space mission.

Just another 60 odd days remain until Hazza Al Mansouri blasts off from earth and plants the UAE flag on the International Space Station.

That’s not it. The UAE is also planning a Mars probe, aptly named Hope. In just two years, which is also going to be the country’s 50th anniversary, the UAE will land a probe on Mars. The ultimate goal is to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by 2117.  The Hope Probe is scheduled to lift off from Japan in July 2020 and reach Mars by 2021.

The total value of Emirati investments in the space sector increased from AED20 billion in 2015 to over AED22 billion during the first part of 2018.

The number of space-related establishments in the UAE reached 57, which provided over 1,500 job opportunities.

There’s also going to be a new UAE space launched very soon with 50 Emirati companies, institutions and establishments.

I had spoken to Sunil Tacker from STA Law firm to learn more about this law. Let‘s hear what he has to stay.

Apart from the Emirates Mars Mission and the UAE Space Agency, there are other key players in all of these initiatives.

The Khalifa University lab, which is believed to be the region’s first space lab.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Research Centre, which was founded by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is a scientific centre specialised in space science and is one of the pillars of knowledge economy.

KhalifaSat - which blasted off into orbit from Japan last year - was the first satellite designed and made by Emirati engineers. Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments, now under Mubadala, acquired a 31.8 percent stake in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and they are in talks with the UAE space agency are talks of space tourism flights from Al Ain Airport.

But over the years there have been a few road block too.

Earlier this month the UAE’s fourth reconnaissance satellite, FalconEye1, was lost when the Vega rocket carrying it developed a fault.

Despite the loss, preparations to launch a second satellite, FalconEye2, are under way.

The UAE recently even formed a committee responsible for detecting astronomical bodies hurtling towards Earth. These could include meteors or the remains of spaceships or other “space junk”.

Basically all I’m trying to say is the UAE is taking the space sector very seriously and why not? According to the UAE Space Agency, in 2017, the total global space economy value amounted to $348 billion, 79 percent of which were commercial revenues while 21 percent were for government budgets and manned spaceflight. Private investments in space grew by 30.5 percent in 2017, as compared to 2016.

(Source: YouTube channel)