UAE’S MARS MISSION TIMING IS CRUCIAL
Mars mission sparks increased interest in science
The UAE’s planned mission to Mars in 2020 has spiked interest in space exploration across that country. That was the message from one of the team planning to send the probe to the Red Planet.
“Space is always something that inspires people be it through science fiction or films like The Martian,” said Salem Humaid Almarri, Assistant Director General, Scientific and Technology Affairs with the Government of Dubai.
He was speaking to 7DAYS at the launch of the World Space Risk Forum ( WSRF), which is taking place next month in Dubai.
“The Emirates Mars Mission is a scientific mission but it’s also an inspiring mission,” he said.
“It will and it does inspire youth to say ‘You know what, I’m not going to study business, I’m going to study science’.
“The Mars Mission was announced two years ago and we’ve definitely seen a surge in interest since then.”
Almarri said the mission is very much on schedule for 2020 – adding they have no choice in the matter.
“Going to Mars is not like an Earth observation, the orbits of Mars and Earth and the way they are orbiting the sun is complicated,” said Almarri.
Pointing out that it takes seven to nine months to reach Mars, he added: “The opportunity to travel to Mars opens up every two years for a couple of months.
“If you miss it you have to wait another two years. Our target launch date is in 2020.
“We want to reach there by 2021 by the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates. We are on schedule for that. It is true there are risks in the space sector, as with any other, but with a responsible but with a responsible approach, the rewards are there for all to see – in galvanising the next generation to think about science and maths.”
More than 400 leaders from across the global space industry will converge on Dubai for the WSRF which takes place from November 2-4.
“Space is our tomorrow and holds the key to the continued evolution of mankind,” said Laurent Lemaire, organising host of the WSRF and CEO of the DIFC-based elseco, that specialises in space underwriting.
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