Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the designs of the Hope Probe, as part of the Emirates Mars Mission. The project will send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 marking the UAE’s 50th National Day.
Sheikh Mohammed gave the go ahead to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes, the Arab world’s first Mars probe. The project will place the UAE in the league of nine countries that aim to explore Mars.
His Highness said: “UAE’s ambition is to explore outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars. Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for UAE’s scientific efforts, it the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard.”
Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came while visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to open the second phase of UAE satellite manufacturing and assembling complex, a multitasking facility capable of handling several space projects at a time.
Signaling the beginning of manufacturing process, Sheikh Mohammed installed the first part of KhalifaSat, the first Arab satellite which is being built purely by Emirati engineering and expertise in the UAE. KhalifaSat is set to launch in 2018.
KhalifaSat provides satellite imaging capabilities at an industry competitive Ground Sampling Distance of 0.7m panchromatic and 4m in multispectral bands to governmental and commercial entities and corporations worldwide.
Expressing his pride to see the first UAE satellite being built by Emirati engineers, His Highness said: “The UAE today has the full capacity to manufacture and build satellites. We are planning to become a leading regional hub for space industries and we will continue developing Emirati workforce highly specialised in space technologies.”
The Hope Probe that was launched in 2015 will leave Earth in 2020 traveling more than 60 million kilometres in nine months and will be launched to coincide with the UAE’s 50th anniversary.
During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed also inaugurated a house that is fully powered by solar energy with the same solar technology used in space industries. The house is built with smart engineering solutions that fit hot and humid climates. The technologies includes water cooling systems, heat and air insulations, air filtration and ventilation systems and smart operation systems. The house is made of treated wood without any steel elements.
MBRSC launched this project as part of its research efforts in sustainability and green buildings. The house uses energy production and storing technologies similar to the technologies used in building satellites and space shuttles.