Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the designs of the Hope Probe, as part of the Emirates Mars Mission, on 2 November 2016. The project will send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 marking the UAE’s 50th National Day.
Sheikh Mohammed gave the greenlight to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes, the Arab world’s first Mars probe. The project places the UAE with the nine countries that aim to explore Mars.
His Highness said: “UAE ambitions is to explore the outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars. Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for UAE’s scientific efforts, it the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard”.
Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came while visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to open the second phase of the UAE satellite manufacturing and assembly complex, a multitasking facility capable of handling several space projects at a time.
Signaling the beginning of manufacturing process, Sheikh Mohammed installed the first part of KhalifaSat, the first Arab satellite which is being built purely by Emirati engineering and expertise in the UAE. KhalifaSat is set to launch in 2018.
KhalifaSat provides satellite imaging capabilities at an industry competitive Ground Sampling Distance of 0.7m panchromatic and 4m in multispectral bands to governmental and commercial entities and corporations worldwide.
Crown Prince of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Foundation His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future Mohammed Al Gergawi and Director General of Dubai Protocol Department Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman accompanied Sheikh Mohammed during the visit.
Upon his arrival, Sheikh Mohammed was welcomed by the Chairman of the TRA Board of Directors Mohamad Ahmad Al Qemzi, MBRSC Board Chairman Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, and MBRSC Director General Yousif Al Shibani in addition to MBRSC’s senior executives and project managers.
Expressing his pride to see the first UAE satellite being built by Emirati engineers, His Highness said: “the UAE today has the full capacity to manufacture and build satellites with any foreign technical support. We are planning to become a leading regional hub for space industries and we will continue developing Emirati workforce highly specialized in space technologies”.
The Hope Probe programme that was launched in 2015 will leave Earth in 2020 traveling more than 60 million kilometres in nine months and will be launched to coincide with the UAE’s 50th anniversary.
During the visit, Sheikh Mohammed also inaugurated a house that is fully powered by solar energy with the same solar technology used by the space industry. The house is built with smart engineering solutions that suit hot and humid climates. The technologies include water cooling systems, heat and air insulations, air filtration and ventilation systems and a smart operation system. The house is made of treated wood without any steel elements.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) launched this project as part of its research efforts in sustainability and green buildings. The house uses energy production and storing technologies similar to the technologies used in building satellites and the Space Shuttle.