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UAE enters Space Race with first Arab Spaceship to Mars

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Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has entered the space race with a project to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 in the Arab world’s first mission to another planet. A new UAE Space Agency will be created to coordinate the UAE’s growing space technology sector and to supervise the mission. The Gulf nation is one of the only nine countries with space programmes to explore the Red Planet. The Mars probe’s nine-month and more than 60 million-km journey will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s formation. “The UAE Mars probe represents the Muslim world’s entry into the era of space exploration,” said UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity,” he said. “The UAE’s purpose is to build Emirati technical and intellectual capabilities in the fields of aerospace and space exploration and to enter the space industry and to make use of space technology in a way that enhances the country’s development plans.” The mission will be led by Emiratis and will expand the nation’s human capital through knowledge transfer from international partners, as well as increasing human knowledge about space exploration and distant planets.