The UAE is known for breaking a lot of world records – the tallest tower, the world’s first hyperloop on the horizon, a seven-star hotel at a time when only five-star properties existed across the world. You name it, the UAE has done it. But when the country’s Space Agency announced a hugely ambitious plan to set up a city on Mars in 100 years, the launch of a spacecraft to probe the red planet by 2021, the establishment of the world’s largest Mars Science City in Dubai, which will simulate life in a Martian colony, and that it has whittled its list of potential astronauts from 4,000 to nine within a span of four months, the global space community and the rest of us stopped in our proverbial tracks.
This is no vanity project. This nation of approximately two million Emiratis has undertaken this particular project to nurture a generation of home-grown engineers who will have built small and large satellites, done years of research, analysed data from space and become an integral part of the international scientific community.
This nation has already spent $6bn on space initiatives, including the launch of a number of satellites, some of which have been used for commercial services. In fact, one satellite is due to launch later this year and a number of small satellites from universities are being developed as we speak.
As SatellitePro ME comes to IBC representing the MENA region, we bring you one of the most prestigious space initiatives in the history of the Arab world.
But that’s not all. From the controversy surrounding the reallocation of C-band in the US to what makes the maritime industry tick, from how satellites are evolving to aid broadcasters to the hottest launches at IBC2018, this issue has a lot in store for you. See you at the show.