Picture courtesy: Dubai Media Office
The UAE plans to establish a “mini city” and community on Mars within the next 100 years as part of a an ambitious space strategy unveiled by the country’s leaders on Tuesday.
The Mars 2117 Project was launched by UAE’s Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.
It is set to be developed and executed in partnership with major international scientific research institutions.
The first phase of the project will focus on preparing cadres who can achieve the scientific breakthrough needed to send humans to Mars.
The project will begin with a scientists’ team comprising UAE nationals and will later be extended to include international scientists and researchers, official news agency WAM reported.
The project will focus on developing faster means of transportation from and to the red planet, and come up with an integrated scientific visualisation of how the settlement will look.
It will also explore aspects like food, transportation and energy at the new settlement.
“Mars 2117” includes a major space sciences focus in our universities. We’re building a space pioneering passion among our young people.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge.
“The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”
He said that the UAE is among the top nine countries in the world that invests in the space sciences, adding that it aims to accelerate research in this domain.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed added that the knowledge outcomes of the research project will be available for all international research institutions.
“The UAE became part of a global scientific drive to explore the space, and we hope to serve humanity through this project,” he said.
A team of Emirati engineers, along with a group of scientists and researchers, unveiled a concept for the first human city on Mars that will be built by robots.
The plan showcased during the summit highlighted the expected lifestyle on Mars in terms of transport, power production and providing food, as well as infrastructure works and materials used for the construction of the city.
“The Mars 2117 Project is a long term project, where our first objective is to develop our educational system so our sons will be able to lead scientific research across the various sectors,” the Abu Dhabi crown prince added.
In 2015, the UAE announced its Mars Probe mission, which aims to send the Arab world’s first unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.