Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAW Space Agency, said that the Scientific project Mars City will be implemented in 30 months or 2.5 years. The project has both financial backing and an allocated area, stating that the Mars City will be completed by 2020.
The Mars City is the largest space simulation city to date and aims to show how humans will be able to live on Mars. The settlement will cover around 177 thousand meters (1.9 million square feet) of desert. It will comprise of several architecturally complex domes that will house laboratories for food, energy, and water. The city will also conduct studies into agricultural crops and their cultivation on Mars. Besides scientific capabilities, the city will also contain a Mars Museum.
Al Ahbabi revealed to the Khaleej Times at the Dubai Airshow that the UAE will start selecting astronauts for the journey to Mars in 2018. Selection priority has been given to the Emirates.
The trek to the Red Planet will be realized via the Hope probe, which is slated for launch in 2020. It will reach Mars in 2021.
“The UAE space sector will contribute towards a knowledge-based economy and also will position us as a leader in advanced technologies and industries,” said Al Ahbabi.
The UAE’s space sector is valued at $6 billion, all of which are put into the region of knowledge, experience, capabilities, and investment, the director stated.
Al Ahbabi also said the UAE is drafting a space law which includes peaceful exploration of space and peaceful application of space technologies. It will also cover new issues regarding ownership of natural resources found in space.
The Hope probe is scheduled to begin orbit around the Red Planet around the time the UAE will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
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