The UAE is Aiming to Reach Mars

The government of the United Arab Emirates are willing to send the first Arab probe to Mars with the development of a space agency.

Their target is to send the spacecraft on time to reach in Mars by December 2021 to synchronize with the fiftieth annual ceremony of the state’s establishment

“Our goal is to enter the aerospace industry sector, utilize space technology to enhance development and work to build up a cadre of Emiratis specializing in this field,” Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan told the Emirates News Agency in July.

Some are convinced that the Emirates are going to send the probe soon.

Mohammed al-Awsat al-Ayari, a Tunisian aerospace engineering and astronomy expert at the University of Colorado in the United States said: “It is not easy”. “Countries that have been pioneers in space science have been afflicted with Major problems and their missions sometimes failed,” he says.

US space agency NASA announced that two Martian missions had lost as they arrived at the planet in 1999. Ayari said, some of the spacecraft that were sent to Mars were unsuccessful to complete their missions, even the ones that were sent from China and Japan.

Last November, India launched its first spacecraft to Mars. India is expected to become the first Asian country to achieve a mission to the planet if the spacecraft enters Mars orbit on the 24th September as planned. Only three countries succeeded in sending vehicles that orbited or landed on Mars and it is Europe, Russia and the United States.

The astronomy expert, Ayari, who worked with NASA to design the Mars rover Spirit that landed successfully on the planet in 2004, tells SciDev.net: “The UAE’s announcement of its journey to Mars is a surprise, as this represents a difficult challenge that requires extraordinary technical equipment.”

Ayari recommended the nation to take the experiences from the other space agencies for a mission to be succeeded.

Ayari tensed “the need for the practical experience required by the job, avoiding getting lost in complicated probe designs and utilizing Arab talent already working in this field.” He gave an example that China employs Tunisian expertise in its space program.

The president of the astronomy department at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Egypt, Ashraf Latif Tadros defined the UAE’s strategy as “exaggerated”

Tadros tells SciDev.Net that “the United States reached the surface of Mars in an exploratory mission 40 years after creating its own space agency and 28 years after its arrival on the moon. How ill the UAE outpace all of these achievement?”

But Trados honors the creation of the UAE Space Agency and says it “encourages the Arab nations to follow in the UAE’s footsteps, because space has become a part of states’ security and economies as well as many aspects of everyday life”.

For example, satellites are used in areas including telecommunications, navigation, tracking, broadcast media, data transfer, weather monitoring and dealing with natural disasters, he says.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president of the UAE, told the Emirates News Agency: “Arriving at Mars is a big challenge, [but] when we stop taking on bigger challenges we stop moving forward.”

Al Maktoum indicated that overall national investment in industries and projects relating to space technology had exceeded 20 billion UAE dirhams (about US$5.4 billion).

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