UAE launches ambitious National Space Program

Mohammed bin Rashid, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince launch National Space Program

DUBAI 13 April 2017: The UAE National Space Program was launched yesterday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.

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They also approved the program’s strategy at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai. The program will be executed by young Emiratis.

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Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also attended the tour that also included the launch of satellite manufacturing complex as part of the MBRSC. The move is part of the UAE ambitious space program as it aims reaching Mars in 2021 and building first settlement on the Red Planet in 2117.

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The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is set to launch the Hope spacecraft in July 2020 on a seven-month journey to the Red Planet. The UAE National Space Program also includes a new program to prepare Emiratis astronauts.

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“Our national space program is a solid platform to prepare Emiratis cadres specialized in airspace sciences, and qualify future generations that are able to contribute to humanity knowledge,” Mohammed bin Rashid said.

“We plan to send the first Emirati astronaut to the space over the next few years, and starting from today, we are preparing the first Emirati and Arab astronaut to join scientists at the International Space Station.”

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Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE space program is a message to the Arab world that our sons are able to compete on the global level. “Our objective is to show the world that we are able to contribute to humanity through quality knowledge and scientific discoveries,” he said.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that the UAE is making a new national leading achievement every day on all levels thanks to the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the vision of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid.

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“We are very proud of Emirati youth playing a pivotal role in shaping an ambitious future for their own country and pursuing higher educations in the field of science and knowledge,” he said.

Present during the tour were Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Ahmad Al Bowardi, along with senior government officials.

 – By Angel Chan