UAE Space Exploration

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Through close collaboration with US partners, the United Arab Emirates is inspiring a new generation of space explorers and scientists. In September, a UAE astronaut will become the first Arab to travel to the International Space Station (ISS). And in 2020, the UAE will become the first Arab nation to launch a mission to Mars.

The UAE astronaut, the first Emirati in space, will embark on an eight-day mission to the ISS. Aboard the ISS, he will conduct 15 experiments on behalf of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and give a broadcasted tour of the station in Arabic for viewers on Earth.

The Emirates Mars probe – “Hope” or “Al Amal” in Arabic – will launch in July 2020 and is expected to enter Mars’ atmosphere in 2021 to coincide with the UAE’s 50th anniversary. The Hope probe will serve as Mars’ first weather satellite, collecting data to help scientists around the world better understand atmospheric changes and climate cycles.

The UAE is working with US educational institutions such as the University of Colorado, University of California-Berkley and Arizona State University to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technical expertise to young Emiratis. Reflecting the expanding depth and scope of this relationship, NASA and the UAE Space Agency signed an historic agreement in October 2018 outlining opportunities for collaboration in research and manned space exploration.