UAE Mars Mission game-changer for Israel

Filed on March 11, 2021

The UAE's mission to Mars is a major achievement for the Gulf country and comes seven months after the country launched its first interplanetary mission. The Hope spacecraft made its way to Mars amid important developments in the region. The Abraham Accords were announced and signed, and more than 100,000 Israelis travelled to Dubai. Both countries also face challenges ahead, but in general they represent leading technology sectors in the region.

Back in July 2020, the Hope spacecraft took off at dawn from Japan and made its way to Mars. It was reported at the time that the concept dated back to 2014 and was intended to inspire a new generation while celebrating the UAE's 50th anniversary. This was a big deal for the UAE, the Gulf and the region. Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, praised the effort last year. He harkened back to the years of hard work and dedication it took.

Israel's SpaceIL successfully launched the Beresheet spacecraft in February 2019 but failed when it landed on the moon in August 2019. The country will try again. It is a leader in putting satellites into space, while the UAE is now the fifth country to reach Mars. Both countries are now major space powers. China and America's NASA also have a spacecraft on the way to Mars this year.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up in celebration when it was announced the mission was successful in February 2021. The team members behind the mission have an average age of 27, and the team is 35 per cent women, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, in Israel the satellite programme also showcases Israel's abilities. The Ofek launch in 1988 made Israel the eighth country in the world with a launch capability. Ofek-16 was launched in July 2020 from Palmahim.

Israel and the UAE both had marked important milestones last year, which demonstrates the significance behind current relations. Israel and the UAE have many shared interests, whether it is a shared regional outlook about threats and instability, or the fact that both countries are close partners of the US. Both countries are also pioneering technology products, whether in fintech or food tech or other sectors, many of which have been on display, or will be soon, in joint ventures and exhibitions in the UAE which Israelis are taking part in.

The importance of the Mars Mission is also an attempt to illustrate how the UAE is building and accomplishing things in the name of peace.

The wider picture is that the Middle East's most successful pioneering countries when it comes to advanced technology and space are Israel and the UAE. They are the ones offering a greater message of hope for future generations compared to other nations across the globe.


- Source: Jerusalem Post

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