In July 2020, the United Arab Emirates will launch into space its automatic station Hope Mars Mission, which is to reach the Red Planet on the anniversary of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state. In mars orbit, the spacecraft will study the atmosphere, climate, and seasonal cycles.
Thus, the Emirates will become the first Arab and Muslim country to send an interplanetary mission into space.
This is a kind of manifesto about the sustainability of the state. When the UAE announced the launch of the program in 2014, it was a very turbulent time for the entire region. Political regimes across the Middle East have been shaken by anti-government protests and uprisings. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS (prohibited in Russia) were gaining strength and focused on recruiting young people
In the region, Arab youth are actively demanding new opportunities for self-fulfillment from their governments, and the UAE’s top leadership hastened to respond to this challenge. Across the country, space-related jobs have increased, and universities are actively recruiting teachers for positions related to Mars and planetary sciences. All this was made possible by the Martian initiative.
The creation of its own space program fully fits into Abu Dhabi’s desire to build an oil-independent economy. The UAE has already become a premium tourist resort, the service sector is actively developing. Now it’s time for high technology.
However, so far Hope Mars Mission is definitely not called a project of one country. In addition to Arab specialists from the Emirati National Space Agency, created at the same time as the program, partners from the University of Colorado and Arizona, as well as the University of California, Berkeley, participated in the creation of the spacecraft. In addition, the station will be launched by the Japanese H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Cosmodrome.
Yet Hope Mars Mission allowed the Middle Eastern country to prepare its own personnel in the space field. At the same time, neighboring Saudi Arabia created its agency only two years ago.
It is noteworthy that post-Soviet Russia had two attempts to reach the Red Planet – and both failed. These are mars-96 vehicles and Phobos-Grunt, which was once acclaimed. In the 2010s, when Russia did not even attempt its own interplanetary missions, an Indian spacecraft successfully reached Mars. Now the Russians are threatened to overtake the Emirates in space.