Hope Probe has placed UAE among major space powers: French Space Centre chief

Paris - UAE seventh global power in field of space, says Jean-Yves Le Gall.


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Published: Tue 9 Feb 2021, 3:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Feb 2021, 3:21 PM

The president of the French Space Centre, Jean-Yves Le Gall, has said that ever since the launch of the Hope Probe last July, the world has been looking at the UAE as a rising power in the field of space sciences.

Also read: Hope Probe reaches Mars today: Here's what happens next

In an exclusive interview with WAM in his office in Paris, Le Gall said that the UAE's mission to Mars places the country among the elite global powers in the field of space sciences, stressing that France has been following the UAE's Mars mission very closely.

Also read: Hope Probe: UAE visitors to get ‘Martian Ink’ passport stamp on arrival

"Since the launch of the first foundations of space science in the world, we talk about only six global powers in the field of space, namely the United States of America, Europe, China, Japan, Russia and India, and if we want to add a seventh power, it will inevitably be the UAE," said Le Gall.

"We are proud that we are the first space agency in the world to have signed a cooperation agreement with the UAE. We have several agreements with the Emirates Space Agency. The industrial and technical cooperations brought us closer to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, especially in the field of space launchers, which are used in the development of Emirati missions. We consider the UAE an essential partner in the field of space and today, the country has become a rising power at a global level," he added.

On the UAE's progess in the field of space, its development and investment, the space centre chief said: “The development of the UAE in the recent period is very impressive. There is a political will to progress with a budget allocated to space science. Emirati students who have studied abroad and also at home in Al Ain University are very competent."

Jean-Yves Le Gall emphasized that Emirati students no longer need to travel abroad to study space sciences, as the UAE has provided them with all the necessary conditions to study the subject in the UAE, and it will soon be possible to have a master's degree programme in space sciences, equivalent to that in developed countries, at Al Ain University.

In response to a question about what the world expects from UAE's Mars mission, Le Gall said: "As you know, Mars' orbit is very sensitive. This will be the first time that a space probe (Hope Probe) lands in its orbit. It will enable us to know the characteristics and the climate of Mars. The Hope Probe will also take pictures of the planet from directions that have not been taken before. The Hope Probe mission will enrich our scientific knowledge about the red planet."

"A few billion years ago, the Earth was in the same position as Mars, but the red planet turned into a frozen, cold desert, while the Earth has water and life, and if we understand Mars well, we will understand the Earth better, so we consider the UAE mission to Mars extremely important for us," he said.

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