Video: Sheikh Mohammed announces UAE mission to Venus

Photo: UAEGov/Twitter
Photo: UAEGov/Twitter

Dubai - He took to Twitter to declare the grand mission

By Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 6 Oct 2021, 2:50 AM

More than a year after conquering Mars, the UAE has got a new space mission.

The country’s Vice-President has announced an ambitious plan to explore planet Venus and the solar system’s asteroid belt.

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The mission is five times more complex than the successful Emirates Mars Mission.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the country’s latest mission would explore seven asteroids. It will even execute the first Arab landing on an asteroid.

Mission Venus

An Emirati spacecraft will undertake a 3.6-billion-km, five-year journey. It will perform gravity assist manoeuvres by orbiting Venus and then Earth in order to build the velocity required to reach the main asteroid belt located beyond Mars.

The spacecraft will travel more than seven times the journey undertaken by the UAE’s Hope probe to Mars.

The UAE Space Agency said the five-year expedition would be launched in 2028. The spacecraft for the mission would be developed in seven years, it added.

It is to be developed in partnership with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The mission is part of the country’s Projects of the 50th – a series of developmental and economic projects to mark the country’s Year of the 50th.

Investing in future generations

Sheikh Mohammed posted on Twitter: “A third of the stars in the sky have Arab names, because Arabs were pioneers of astronomy. Our mission is to boost the glory of the Arab civilisation. If we don't act today, when will we?”

He said the UAE is investing in the generations to come. “With each new advancement we make in space, we create opportunities for young people here on earth.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also tweeted about the mission.

“The launch of a new project to explore Venus and the asteroid belt sets an ambitious new goal for our country’s burgeoning space programme,” he posted. “The UAE is determined to make a meaningful contribution to space exploration, scientific research and our understanding of the solar system.”

Sarah Al Amiri, Chair of the UAE Space Agency, said the UAE aims to accelerate the development of innovation and knowledge-based enterprises.

“This can’t be done by going steady-state; this requires leaps in imagination, in faith and the pursuit of goals that go beyond prudent or methodical. When we embarked on the Emirates Mars Mission, we took on a six-year task that was in the order of five times more complex than the earth observation satellites we were developing. This mission is in the order of five times more complex than EMM,” she said.


>> UAE Mars mission: A proud moment for every Emirati

>> More than half of UAE residents ready to jet off to space: Survey

Conquering space

The UAE is creating waves when it comes to space explorations.

It successfully executed the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission when it launched the Hope probe to Mars in July 2020.

The UAE will also become fourth country to explore the Moon, and the first from the Arab world, when it lands a rover there at the end of next year.

Named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai, the rover was initially scheduled to be launched in 2024. It is now slated for launch onboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, US.

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