UAE President announces creation of a fund to support development of space sector
The President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has announced the establishment of a AED 3 billion (around US$ 817 million) fund to support space sector development. The fund will support new pioneering space exploration programmes and research.
The first project will be the development of the Sirb (Herd) group of advanced remote sensing radar satellites, which will transmit images of unprecedented quality to Earth using SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) technology.
The purpose of the satellites is to improve the ability to monitor the environment and land use, and to collect and analyse data to solve global problems. New-generation satellites will be able to produce highly detailed and sophisticated radar “images” of land and ice cover, including those taken at night and in foggy conditions.
They can be used to monitor climate change, predict weather conditions and improve urban planning and archaeological excavations. The fund will actively encourage partnerships with international and local businesses.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed noted that the UAE “will continue to work to find innovative solutions and train its own personnel to develop this vital space sector”. In July 2020, the UAE sent the interplanetary station Hope to Mars, which orbited the planet on February 9.
The mission aims to study the atmosphere and climatic conditions of Mars, as well as the changing times of the Martian year, which lasts almost twice as long as the Earth’s. The country also plans to launch a lunar module in 2022 to explore previously unexplored areas of the natural satellite.
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