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KT Opinion: With Venus, the UAE raises space ambitions

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on October 6, 2021
Reuters

Sky is certainly not the limit for the UAE’s wise and visionary leadership, as the successful Hope Mars Mission and the rousing start to the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1 demonstrate

The UAE’s ambitious space mission has got another shot in the arm. The country plans to explore Venus in 2028 and land on an asteroid. It seeks to become only the fourth nation in the world to visit Venus and the asteroid belt. The announcement made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday summed up the Middle East’s most ambitious space programme beyond Mars. Sheikh Mohammed said: “An easy life does not make men, nor does it build nations. Challenges make men, and it is these men who build nations.”

The statement underscores nothing is impossible in the young nation, which celebrates its Golden Jubilee on December 2 and is at the cusp of a momentous change. Sky is certainly not the limit for the UAE’s wise and visionary leadership, as the successful Hope Mars mission and the rousing start to the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1 demonstrate. The UAE has embarked on a long journey to make a significant contribution to cutting-edge space exploration, scientific research and a better understanding of the solar system. The grand announcement, which is aligned to the UAE’s National Space Strategy 2030, seeks to promote the nation to occupy a prominent place at the global high table in scientific explorations. The move underscores Islamic scientific achievements in a wide range of subjects such as astronomy, mathematics and medicine. Besides, Islamic mathematicians such as Al-Khwarizmi, Avicenna and Jamshid Al Kashi had made mind-boggling advances in algebra, trigonometry, geometry and Arabic numerals in ancient times.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, harked back to the glorious past and lavished praise on the new mission. He said the new mission is a “new test of the capabilities of the Emirati youth to achieve [His Highness late] Sheikh Zayed’s [the Father of the Nation] ambition in space”. The ambitious plan certainly won’t be a cakewalk. But the UAE is always eager to embrace challenges and turn them to opportunities. Work is in progress to invest in scientists and astronauts and to indigenously build a spacecraft in another seven years. The mission is also a testimony to reinforce the UAE’s strategy for talent attraction and retention, which upholds the model Arab state’s pole position as the most-preferred destination for expatriates to live, work and the ease of doing business. No wonder, the UAE’s amazing growth story has blurred geographical boundaries and human limitations.





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