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UAE plans unmanned mission to Mars by 2021

Published on Jul 16, 2014 6:56 PM
 
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is pictured in this self-portrait where the rover drilled into a sandstone target called "Windjana" on Mars in this undated handout photo. The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, it planned to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, in the Arab world's first mission to another planet. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday it planned to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, in the Arab world's first mission to another planet.

A UAE Space Agency will be set up to supervise the mission and develop a space technology industry in the country, a government statement said. It did not give details such as the cost of the probe or how it would be designed and built.

"The UAE Mars probe represents the Islamic world's entry into the era of space exploration. We will prove that we are capable of delivering new scientific contributions to humanity,"said UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

With a population estimated at no more than about 8 million, most of whom are foreign workers, the UAE lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big spacefaring nations.

 
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