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UAE invests in satellites

July 19, 2022

The United Arab Emirates is to invest some 3 billion dirham (€801m) in order to start developing and building its own satellites. The funds will help support an ambitious space programme which will include scientific missions which extends to a plan to explore Mars and Venus.

UAE Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed stated that the space programme would also include all-weather Earth images.

“The project will contribute to the UAE’s efforts to develop solutions to climate change, environmental sustainability and improved disaster management,” the country’s media office said. Applications will include detection of oil spills, monitoring ships, as well as search and rescue.

Sheikh Mohammed added that the cash aimed to encourage the creation of domestic enterprises in the space sector.

The UAE, which comprises the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Dang Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, first established a Space Agency in 2014. The current Space Agency is based in Dubai at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

The UAE sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station five years later, and plans to send an unmanned spaceship to the moon in 2024.

On July 13th the UAE signed an space-related agreement with Turkey. The communique said that the two nations had agreed to cooperate and share information and experience in the field of space exploration and technologies. Joint research and development work will be launched on suborbital flights, launch, rocket, and imaging satellite systems.

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