KT edit: Space zone in the UAE to conquer new worlds

The UAE's journey to the next frontier, however, began before this launch.

Published: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Oct 2019, 11:14 PM

Hazzaa AlMansoori's liftoff from on the UAE's maiden space mission last month was nothing short of historic. It was a pioneering journey and a proud moment for a nation that had its sights firmly on worlds beyond the blue planet. Every minute of his preparation for the space flight, liftoff, eight-day stay at the International Space Station, and his return in a capsule was closely followed on channels that are essentially powered by satellites in space.
The UAE's national space programme was launched in the seventies when its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan held meetings on space, including a memorable gathering in Abu Dhabi with three American astronauts in 1976. That moment captured in a black-and-white photograph went viral recently upon Hazzaa AlMansoori's return from the ISS. The UAE's journey to the next frontier, however, began before this launch. In October 2018, the country launched its first indigenously built satellite, KhalifaSat. Work is now on for the monumental Hope missions to Mars which will power and inspire future projects.
Much has been achieved in the last few years with the creation of the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, that have been pivotal in realising such missions. The country has space laws in place too, and is now taking its interest in this sector a notch higher with a freezone for space firms. It is all part of the UAE Space Agency's investment plan. The laws and regulations for space mining, tourism, and other activities have been spelt out, which shows the maturity of the sector and signals that the UAE is in it for the long haul and is committed to its vision of achieving greater dreams on the Red Planet by 2117. We have come a long way since 2014 when the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the country's grand vision to explore new worlds and planets. The vision of the leadership has been powering Emirati efforts. Recent accomplishments are inspiring future generations while making life on earth more productive and meaningful.

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