How the UAE is ready for brand new part of area exploration


Dubai: When the UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi stepped outdoors the airlock of the Worldwide Area Station to start a seven hour spacewalk over a month in the past, he etched his title in historical past books as the primary Arab astronaut to enterprise into the unknown depths of area. The outstanding feat was the spotlight of the Arab world’s longest area mission, Zayed Ambition 2, one in all a sequence of bold tasks which have entrenched the UAE’s place within the orbit of elite spacefaring nations.

Al Neyadi’s journey to the ISS introduced the nation’s aspirations to be a significant participant on the planet of crewed area flights. Regardless of being a comparatively new entrant into the membership of spacefaring nations, the UAE seeks to launch human area missions each three to 5 years, a objective that’s one amongst a protracted checklist of groundbreaking area tasks.

Function of founding fathers

“The outstanding achievements of the UAE Nationwide Area Programme have been made attainable by the imaginative and prescient of the nation’s founding fathers and the strategic investments made by its present management in growing the infrastructure, applied sciences and expertise wanted to make it a frontrunner within the international area trade,” stated Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Area Centre (MBRSC).

In a tribute to its founding fathers, the UAE’s crewed missions have been named after the late Sheikh Zayed, the Father of the Nation, whose ardour for area formed nationwide aspirations within the sector. The early imaginative and prescient for the UAE Nationwide Area Programme was formulated by Sheikh Zayed who held many conferences to debate area within the 70s, together with a memorable gathering in Abu Dhabi with three American astronauts. The UAE’s first lunar rover, constructed by Emirati engineers, was named ‘Rashid’ after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the architect of contemporary Dubai.

In line with the bold imaginative and prescient of the nation’s founding leaders, the UAE has made huge investments in groundbreaking tasks within the area sector Final yr the UAE Area Company introduced an AED3 billion ($816 million) funding fund for the event of the UAE’s capabilities within the sector.

future missions

2023: Rashid 2 Moon Rover introduced to proceed the journey into the Moon’s floor
2024: MBZ-Sat, the area’s most superior excessive accuracy, excessive decision imaging satellite tv for pc will probably be launched
2028: MBR Explorer of the UAE Asteroid Belt Exploration Undertaking will probably be blasting into area with a goal of masking 5 billion kilometres to check the asteroids within the Major Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter
2117: The UAE’s most bold area undertaking ‘Mars 2117’ is envisioned to construct the primary human settlement on Mars by 2117

Constructing an area trade from scratch

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Area Centre (MBRSC), an organisation launched in 2006, has been on the centre of efforts to catapult the UAE into the massive league of area powers. MBRSC jump-started the event of a complicated area trade from scratch in a brief interval. The UAE’s bold targets meant that MBRSC needed to create the superior technological and scientific capabilities, innovation and information wanted to be an area energy in a brief time period.

“Beginning with simply 5 engineers, MBRSC put collectively a complete programme to develop the delicate capabilities wanted to undertake bold area missions. MBRSC additionally cast collaborations with a mess of entities, each in the private and non-private sector, together with different area businesses, worldwide organisations, and universities and schools specialising in area science. With quickly created native capacities, the MBRSC launched a variety of trailblazing area missions masking superior indigenous satellites, interplanetary missions and crewed area journeys,” says Hamad Obaid AlMansoori.

UAE Satellite tv for pc Programme

The maiden undertaking undertaken by MBRSC was the event of the nation’s first satellite tv for pc as a part of the UAE Satellite tv for pc Programme. A crew of Emirati engineers labored carefully with South Korean specialists to design and manufacture the nation’s first two remark satellites, DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2 launched in 2009 and 2013 respectively, and its first nanosatellite, Nayif-1.

In October 2018, the MBRSC constructed and launched the primary 100% UAE-designed and manufactured Earth remark satellite tv for pc KhalifaSat, cementing the nation’s place amongst main area expertise producers. The launch of the satellite tv for pc noticed the UAE’s emergence as a brand new participant within the satellite tv for pc imaging knowledge market. KhalifaSat’s high-resolution pictures of Earth can be utilized for the whole lot from city planning to catastrophe reduction. In 2024, MBRSC plans to launch MBZ-SAT, a satellite tv for pc that may break new floor in high-resolution imaging from outer area.

Interplanetary missions

In 2014, the UAE introduced the Emirates Mars Mission, also referred to as Al Amal, a undertaking to ship the Arab world’s first mission to the pink planet. The UAE’s first tour into deep area, the mission turned a actuality in February 2021 when the Hope Probe efficiently entered orbit round Mars. Since then, the terribly advanced interplanetary mission has generated distinctive insights which have added considerably to the worldwide physique of information in regards to the Martian environment.

In one other landmark initiative, the UAE introduced in 2017, the ‘Mars 2117’ programme led by MBRSC to develop the primary ever human settlement on the pink planet within the subsequent 100 years. Pushed by the eagerness of the UAE’s management to uncover new information, the undertaking represents a significant contribution to humanity’s interplanetary endeavours.

Crewed missions

The UAE’s area forays have been pushed by a variety of programmes created to develop nationwide expertise in varied areas of the trade. Six years in the past, MBRSC launched the UAE Astronaut Programme to organize Emirati astronauts for manned missions to the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) and different locations in area. Within the first initiative of its sort within the Arab world, the Programme centered on offering coaching, experience, and {qualifications} for Emiratis to signify the UAE and the Arab world in future area missions and conduct scientific experiments that assist international area exploration.

In 2018, astronauts Hazzaa AlMansoori and Sultan AlNeyadi have been chosen to kind the primary batch of the UAE Astronaut Programme, whereas the second batch chosen in 2021 featured Nora AlMatrooshi, the primary feminine Arab astronaut, and Mohammad AlMulla. In September 2019, the UAE despatched its first astronaut to the Worldwide Area Station, making Hazzaa AlMansoori the primary Arab to go to the orbiting laboratory. This was adopted by the Zayed Ambition 2 mission that includes Emirati astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, which arrived on the Worldwide Area Station in March this yr.

International participant

The outcomes of those bold tasks have reworked the UAE’s standing within the international area panorama. MBRSC’s missions have led to the event of latest applied sciences and improvements which have purposes in varied industries, says HE Hamad Obaid AlMansoori. The Emirates Mars Mission, for instance, has spurred the event of applied sciences in fields akin to robotics, autonomous programs, and distant sensing, which may be utilized to industries like agriculture, mining, and oil and gasoline.

Over the course of greater than two years, the Emirates Mars Mission has additionally offered never-before-seen insights into the Martian environment, which have enhanced understanding of the planet’s historical past and evolution. The Hope Probe has collected over 1.7 TB of knowledge on the Martian environment, climate patterns and local weather historical past, offering vital data that may assist predict local weather adjustments on Earth and assist future Mars missions and planetary explorations.

One other undertaking, the UAE Analog Mission, an offshoot of the Mars 2117 programme, can also be taking part in a significant function in making ready people for future exploration of Mars and different planets. By simulating space-like situations on Earth, the Mission is contributing to advancing spaceflight analysis by enabling area scientists to conduct experiments, develop countermeasures for space-hazards, and take a look at new applied sciences. The primary UAE Analog Mission, the eight-month SIRIUS-21 programme, was accomplished by Emirati crew member Saleh AlAmeri in July 2022, after reaching all its targets to check the results of isolation on human psychological and physiological situations.

Equally, the UAE Astronaut Programme by its missions to the ISS is supporting analysis in fields akin to biomedical science, transportation and manufacturing, which may be leveraged to enhance life on Earth. On the ISS, Sultan AlNeyadi is conducting greater than 200 experiments assigned by NASA and 19 by UAE universities on various subjects together with cardiovascular and immune programs, again ache, epigenetics, fluid science, plant biology, materials science, sleep evaluation and radiation.

Over the past couple of months, AlNeyadi has shared on social media images of the distinctive experiments he’s conducting on board the ISS. Experiments which have caught the curiosity of the general public embody the cultivation of tomatoes in area for scientific research. His botanical area experiment seeks to grasp how crops and greens may be grown in a microgravity surroundings and whether or not they might present astronauts with a sustainable meals supply sooner or later. AlNeyadi can also be conducting experiments that will present potential remedies for neuro-degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s.

Thriving area ecosystem

MBRSC’s satellite tv for pc tasks and interplanetary missions are serving to create the robust base essential for the UAE area trade to be a top-ranked international participant, notes HE Hamad Obaid AlMansoori. “The Centre’s programmes are fostering the event of a giant pool of UAE nationwide expertise and competencies in varied areas of the area trade and area exploration, the creation of latest financial alternatives and industries within the UAE, and the development of scientific information by analysis and growth,” he stated.

Additional, MBRSC’s partnerships and collaborations with worldwide organisations are offering alternatives for UAE nationals to work on joint tasks and acquire worldwide expertise and experience, which can contribute to the event of the area trade ecosystem within the UAE.

The MBRSC’s Area Ventures initiative, a undertaking launched beneath the umbrella of the Mars 2117 programme, serves as a launchpad for promising startups within the area sector by facilitating partnerships with the Centre on long-term tasks, and offering them with the regulatory know-how and expertise to achieve viability and sustainable development for the long run. MBRSC affords a high-level work surroundings for accomplice firms and offers them entry to the Centre’s experience in area analysis and exploration, creating channels with area tech specialists and networks.

Including worth to the financial system

The manufacture of satellite tv for pc elements and growth of native experience within the subject has led to the creation of latest job alternatives and contributed to the expansion of the UAE financial system. The event of MBZ-SAT, for instance, has been pivotal in supporting the fast enlargement of the native area trade. As a lot as 90% of the mechanical construction and 50% of the digital modules of MBZ-SAT are being constructed within the UAE. MBRSC has collaborated with native firms akin to aerospace manufacturing firm Strata, engineering options firm EPI, Rockford Xellerix, Halcon and Falcon Group to fabricate and provide the elements essential for the event of the brand new satellite tv for pc. Lately native firm Strata Manufacturing achieved a historic milestone by indigenously manufacturing aluminium honeycomb panels required for constructing satellites, in partnership with MBRSC.

These outcomes are serving to construct a robust and sustainable UAE area sector that contributes to the diversification and development of the financial system. The rising trade ecosystem has helped increase the UAE’s scientific and technological capabilities and engrained a tradition of innovation within the sector.

Industrial companies

In a brief time period, the UAE has additionally turn into a notable participant within the international business area companies panorama. The experience gained in designing, manufacturing, assembling, and launching a variety of satellites over time has enabled it to supply various companies to nations world wide. These embody floor station companies masking satellite tv for pc monitoring, telemetry, and command operations and state-of-the-art services and products in geo-science and distant sensing.

The Centre offers end-to-end earth remark options by its fleet of satellites, together with KhalifaSat, one of many world’s most technologically superior distant sensing satellites. That includes Synthetic Intelligence and massive knowledge analytics, these companies assist undertaking monitoring, 3D mapping, monitoring and evaluation of environmental situations, catastrophe administration and way more.

MBRSC employs its cutting-edge applied sciences to conduct analysis and resolve issues in a variety of areas, together with offering data on city land cowl and adjustments over time. This has helped monitor undertaking building progress together with huge tasks akin to Expo 2020 Dubai, the Dubai Canal and synthetic islands. The Centre has additionally collaborated with Al Ain Municipality to develop AI expertise for analysing palm tree cowl in varied areas. MBRSC was capable of detect 45,000 bushes in lower than every week, with an accuracy of 98.7%.

Via pictures from its refined satellites, MBRSC additionally helps the administration of water, land surfaces, aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. MBRSC is part of Sentinel Asia, a world initiative for making use of distant sensing and Internet-GIS applied sciences to assist catastrophe administration within the Asia-Pacific area. Through the years, it has harnessed area applied sciences that assist mitigate the impression of pure and man-made disasters.

Different business companies offered by MBRSC embody coaching and schooling programmes to assist nations and different entities develop their area capabilities. As a part of a collaboration with the United Nations Workplace for Outer Area Affairs (UNOOSA), MBRSC is offering alternatives to host a payload on its 12U PHI modular satellite tv for pc platform, for which they’ve already signed agreements with Bahrain and Nepal. The Centre has additionally signed a framework settlement with Mauritius for vital area growth and satellite tv for pc technology-related R&D development.


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