Dubai: The UAE will send the first Arab mission to the moon by 2024, it was announced on Saturday as part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre 2021-2031 strategy launch.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the new strategy, which aims to shape the centre’s work in the coming decade to enhance global competitiveness and strategic partnerships of the space sector in the country, as well as establish a new phase of Emirati potential in the space exploration and technology fields and other related industries.
On his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The UAE’s ambition in the space sector to explore, plan and make the future. Our youth, engineers and pioneers open new horizons in the science, technology and innovation fields in this vital sector for the future of our world.”
Arab Space Sector
He added, “The space sector in the country represents a tributary to the Arab space sector with the experiences it has gained and the knowledge it has developed and the strategic partnerships it has held. Its future programmes for training national cadres in the space sector and building satellites will be supported by knowledge, data and innovations academic and scientific research institutions in the Arab world and the world for the benefit of mankind.”
Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that the future strategies and programmes developed by the UAE in the space sector enhance its position in the club of pioneering countries in space exploration and development of international cooperation in this sector, as they support the knowledge-based economy and innovation and qualify a capable generation of national cadres who acquired knowledge and experience, and inspire generations of Arab youth in the region and increase their ambition, challenge and excellence in all fields.
Potential to compete internationally
Sheikh Mohammed reviewed with the centre’s teamwork the basic provisions of the strategy that establishes for a new phase of cooperation between the national space sector and international institutions and provides qualitative factors that enhance the country’s potential to compete in the international space sector.
The strategy includes the UAE National Space Programme and covers the five basic components of the Emirates Mars Exploration Project ”Hope Probe” 2117 Strategy, the UAE Astronaut Programme; the Satellite Development Programme, and the UAE Space Sector Sustainability Programme.
The Vice President also learnt about the future timeframe for the most important strategic projects according to three axes, including the Hope Probe, the Environmental Monitoring Nanometric Satellites; the Emirates Moon Exploration Project, and the second mission for astronauts, within the space missions axis, the Innovation and Development Centre, food security research in space, and the Emirates Space Simulation Programme, the Mars Science City project, as part of the research and development axis, the space entrepreneurs programme, the International Astronautical Congress, and the World Organisation for Sustainability in Space within the axis of sustainability.
Sheikh Mohammed was also familiarised with the objectives of the new strategy enhance innovation in the national space sector, to prepare a new generation of qualified national cadres in the space sector to pursue advanced specialities in the science, technology and the space sectors, and lure new investments to the national space sector, which has attracted Dh22 billion over the past few years.
Exploring the moon
The strategy also covers the UAE project to explore the moon and send the first Arab mission with national competencies by 2024, in addition to the ambitious Mars 2117 strategy that employs the latest human knowledge to explore outer space.
It also includes a satellite development programme to enhance the industry’s expertise at the national level and sustain data provision by Emirati satellites, such as DubaiSat-4, KhalifaSat, and Mezn Sat.
New phase of the journey
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, said, “We are embarking on a new phase of the centre’s journey with unlimited support from the leadership to achieve leadership and excellence in this vital sector for the future of humanity and supported by solid foundations and benefiting from what we have achieved so far.”
Focus on research
Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, said, “Our ambition to bolster the UAE’s position among the leading countries in the international space sector was the basis for setting up the objectives of our strategy for the next decade and our goal now is to continue to focus on research, development and sustainability to accomplish these goals.”