UAE earmarks $820m to build satellites, fund space plan
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UAE earmarks $820m to build satellites, fund space plan

UAE earmarks $820m to build satellites, fund space plan

The move will make it the first Arab country to develop a constellation of synthetic aperture radar satellites

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UAE satellites

The UAE will set up a Dhs3bn ($820m) fund to develop satellites as well as support an ambitious space programme that’s already put a probe into Martian orbit and includes plans to explore Venus.

The programme will include the establishment of a national fund with a capital of Dhs3bn, and the launch of a national programme for the development of modern radar satellites, UAE Ruler Mohammed bin Zayed said. The satellites will provide 24-hour all-weather earth imaging.

“The project will contribute to the UAE’s efforts to develop solutions to climate change, environmental sustainability and improved disaster management,” the country’s media office said. Applications will include detection of oil spills, monitoring ships, as well as search and rescue.

The Gulf nation said the move will make it the first Arab country to develop a constellation of synthetic aperture radar satellites. With plans to explore Venus within seven years and land on an asteroid, in addition to launching a spacecraft into Martian orbit, the UAE already has the Middle East’s most ambitious space programme.

The country established a Space Agency in 2014, sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station five years later, and plans to send an unmanned spaceship to the moon in 2024.

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