UAE making substantial investment in space technology

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RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business

Humans have dreamt of spaceflight since antiquity. Nations across the world have contributed in the progress of the global space industry since we first started our voyage towards exploring the space. A pioneer in every sector, UAE has done its bit in this industry too. The Emirates is making substantial investments in the sector by putting in best of knowledge and infrastructure into play.
On occasion of International day of Human Space Flight (April 12), Sheikha Al Maskari, Chief Innovation Officer of UAE Space Agency, says it is time to applaud the efforts made by the country and acknowledge the amount of investments being put into the sector.
Al Maskari, in an exclusive interview with Emirates Business, said, “In the 55 years following Gagarin’s historic flight, humankind has progressed in leaps and bounds. We have photographed, probed and walked on the Moon. Our spacecraft have landed on Mars and photographed every planet in our solar system and at this very moment the International Space Station is orbiting our planet, passing above us every 93 minutes or so. Humankind’s journey in space has only just begun, and the UAE is committed to leading and collaborating in what is one of humanity’s greatest endeavours.”
Al Maskari says UAE’s Mars Mission is on track and is helping the nation excel in the global ‘space’ scene.
“The UAE’s path to space dates back to 1973, when the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan met the NASA team responsible for the Apollo Moon programme. That meeting inspired nearly three decades of efforts guiding the UAE towards space. Our mission Emirates Mission to Mars is on track, and we will celebrate the Hope Probe on Mars in 2021 when celebrating our 50th National day.”
The UAE is home to a rapidly growing space industry that will be a key driver of the national economy, experts believe. Today, the UAE operates more than 7 satellites for both commercial and government use.
“National investment in space technology is continuing to grow, the UAE’s investment in space technology is already substantial exceeding AED 20 billion (USD 5.44 billion). These investments include satellite data and TV broadcast company Al Yah Satellite Communications, mobile satellite communication company Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications and Earth mapping and observation system from Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center,” she added.
The UAE Space Agency is also working very closely with Academia to ensure that there is a ready pool of scientists and engineers who will lead the sector in the years to come.
“The reactions from our efforts in igniting excitement and interest have been overwhelming. Our Mars mission is not just a destination, it is a journey and we are looking forward to the impact we will create in the years to come,” said Al Maskari.

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