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This epic journey will inspire humanity

It is time to convert dreams into reality. Let everyone be inspired by the UAE space programme.

By Hasan Al Hariri (New Frontiers)

Published: Wed 25 Sep 2019, 10:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 26 Sep 2019, 12:12 AM

While the UAE space programme is new when compared to other countries, it is also very ambitious and hopes to achieve major goals in a very short period of time. And this is because we have a grand vision and we want to explore the potential of this sector. We want to shake hands and contribute to the advancement of the world by complementing each other.
We aim to reach the stars but we don't want to do it alone. We want to create an opportunity for everyone. Our space programme will leave our mark on the history of humankind, where we will share our knowledge and experience with everyone.
Going to the International Space Station is one of those steps.Why the International Space Station? Well the ISS is the lab where we are going to test many ideas and make new discoveries. We are pushing our limits and paving the road where we'll explore many things like the human body's limits, how it can sustain living in space, and the effects of microgravity on our bodies.
In this context, Hazzaa AlMansoori's trip is very critical in many ways. First for simple achievement of going there. This trip will contribute to our knowledge of space travel and will be a motivator for our coming generations.
Hazzaa's ISS visit will also open a new chapter for the space sector as a business opportunity. The UAE is the hub of the world and a central location for the meeting of the East and West. We are hoping for a new era of opportunities for the region. With the strategy drawn by our leaders for the space sector, like the Mars project, the sector is an amazing opportunity for research and investment.
During Hazzaa's time on the ISS, he will do several experiments which will definitely pave the road for more. We often say that each answered question will open a door for ten more questions.
When I was a kid in the 70s, I used to dream that someday I'll be an astronaut. I heard about Prince Sultan's space shuttle mission in 1985 and was mesmerised for weeks. It was so remarkable and inspiring that I thought we'll be definitely going to space soon.
Though we could not achieve it at that time because we didn't have a space programme, the torch was lit and there was hope that some day we will have our own space programme.
Fortunately, our new generation has an amazing opportunity today. It is time to convert dreams into reality. Let everyone be inspired by the UAE space programme. We are sending Hope (the Mars probe) next year and plan to build a city on the red planet by 2117.
As practical steps, we at Dubai Astronomy Group have opened Al Thuraya Astronomy Center at Mushrif Park in Dubai and we have many programmes for space exploration starting from training courses to workshops, lectures and satellite projects.
The next frontier for all humans is space. We hope that space exploration will bring opportunities and solutions for many of our existing and future problems. Exploring space was, is and always will be the ultimate adventure and we will continue to strive for development and innovation.
Yes, space is the next frontier for us all.
- The writer is CEO of Dubai Astronomy Group

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