The United Arab Emirates will establish a space agency with the aim of sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars led by an Emirati team by the year 2021, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayid Al-Nahyan announced on Wednesday.
The historic announcement will allow the UAE to enter a new developmental level by being part of the field of space technology, thus positively affecting the country's economy in the coming years, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The UAE aims to enter the field of space industry and benefit from space technology in creating more development and build a team of Emirati specialists in the field, noted Sheikh Khalifa.
"The UAE Mars probe represents the Islamic worldآ’s entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity", said Sheikh Khalifa.
UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum on his part said that "We chose the epic challenge of reaching Mars because epic challenges inspire us and motivate us. The moment we stop taking on such challenges is the moment we stop moving forward".
The current local investments in industries and projects related to space technology is over AED 20 billion including Al-Yah Satellite Communications systems, satellite data and TV broadcast company, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company and Earth mapping and observation system (Dubai Sat), the PM noted.
The probe is set to reach Mars by 2021 in time with the 50th anniversary for the establishment of the UAE. The probe will go on a nine-month journey, covering a space of over 60 million klm, allowing the UAE to be among nine countries owning programs to discover the red planet.
The agency is under the UAE Cabinet and will enjoy financial and administrative independence. The agency aims to bring awareness to the importance of space technology in development and strenghthening the country's economy.