UAE announces ‘first Arab spaceship to Mars’ in 2021

The United Arab Emirates is establishing an official space agency with the goal of sending an uncrewed spaceship to Mars by 2021. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, said in a statement that the space agency would be responsible for organizing the mission, developing the UAE’s aerospace sector, and “maximizing the contribution of space industries to the national economy.”  Al Maktoum says the UAE has already invested 20 billion dirham ($ 5.4 billion) in space technologies, primarily satellites. The government’s investment company owns satellite broadcasting system Yahsat, which recently announced plans to launch its third satellite in 2016. The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and…

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