The UAE Space Agency highlighted its successes since 2014, during the fourth anniversary celebrations at Abu Dhabi’s Dusit Thani Hotel on 12 July 2018.
The event was attended by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the Agency, as well as the agency’s board members, which included Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the Agency, and several government employees and officials, relevant parties and companies that work and operate in the national space sector, along with the agency’s local and international partners.
Highlighting the high ratio of women in the organisation, the importance of building human capital, the various international MOUs signed by the organisation and also becoming the first Muslim country to be part of the coalition of countries participating in space exploration, Dr. Al Falasi added: “The four years since the establishment of the UAE Space Agency have seen this promising sector fulfill its strategic potential, which enabled it to keep pace with the technological revolution. We have taken our place among our international partners, to benefit humanity and create an empowered, educated and innovative future generation who are capable of continuing the nation’s journey and mission with excellence.”
SatellitePro ME was among the publications honoured during the ceremony for “for consistent and insightful coverage of the UAE space sector”.
Dr. Al Ahbabi said that one of its key goals is to see an Emirati astronaut representing the country at the international space station.
Earlier this year, The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) had received more than 4,000 applications (aged between 17 and 67) from Emiratis aspiring to join the UAE Astronaut Programme.
It was announced at the event on July 12, that the number shortlisted for the final selection now stands at nine individuals who are currently undergoing training.
Agency sources also revealed plans to build a city called Mars Scientific City, a $136m (AED 500m) project that will simulate life on Mars within the UAE’s objectives to lead the global scientific race to take people to Mars and is part of the Mars 2117 Strategy. The city will cover 1.9m square feet, making it the largest space-simulation city ever built and will provide a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars. The UAE also plans to launch the Hope Mars Mission, a space exploration probe mission to Mars, in 2020.