Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Mars Exploration News .




MARSDAILY
Emirates paves way for Middle East space program with mission to Mars
by Jill Stuart for The Conversation
London, UK (SPX) Jul 25, 2014


There is historical precedent that undertaking space activities for exploration garners prestige and indicates power: financial strength, technological capabilities and also ideologically the capability to be at the forefront of an area of research that taps into humanity's biggest goals.

The United Arab Emirates has announced plans to launch a mission to Mars by 2021. A first for the Arab world, the mission and accompanying Space Agency are a big deal for the UAE - scientifically and politically.

Investing in space activities is not new territory for the UAE. Its investments in space-related technology has already exceeded some US$5.4 billion, developing satellite data, mobile satellite communications and earth mapping and observation facilities.

This is not surprising when we live in an age where space hardware is important for a range of practical everyday uses such as telecommunications and navigation. Accordingly, many countries have invested in purchasing satellites and their launches, data from space, and other space infrastructure.

Next level space missions
But there is something unique about the UAE's announcement of plans to create a space agency and launch an unmanned mission to Mars by 2021. The plans indicate that the UAE will develop its own spacecraft building and perhaps also launching capabilities.

While many countries participate in space activities through the purchase of hardware and launches from external providers, the ability to build and launch their own craft domestically lifts a country to the next level of the space faring elite.

The announcement also implies that the UAE plans to pursue hugely expensive space activities with a primarily scientific purpose. Yes, this project has a practical purpose in that it is to inspire UAE technology growth and the education of forthcoming scientists. However a country is also making a statement when it moves from space-related activity for purely practical purposes, to the more heady goals of exploration, inspiration and science.

Power, prestige and politics
The leap from practical to primarily scientific space activity is noteworthy. This is partly because a space programme is a way for states to assert their prestige.

There is historical precedent that undertaking space activities for exploration garners prestige and indicates power: financial strength, technological capabilities and also ideologically the capability to be at the forefront of an area of research that taps into humanity's biggest goals.

The origins of putting human-made objects into space were during the Cold War between the US and the USSR, often referred to as the first space race.

But we have moved on from the days where space was a bipolar activity: many countries have space capabilities and activities are undertaken for a wide range of reasons. Also non-state actors are increasingly active in space, including several (such as Mars One) that have planned manned missions to Mars.

Still, the UAE's Mars mission has a political subtext on several levels. Domestically, it is timed to shore up nationalistic sentiment for the 50th anniversary of the country's formation. Regionally, the project indicates leadership within the Middle East region. And globally, the mission marks the entry of an Arab nation into the elite club of countries with such ambitious space programs.

Success guaranteed?
Will this project work, both scientifically and in order to build international prestige? Scientifically, Mars missions have proved tricky. Many have failed, including the UK's Mars Beagle 2 rover, which reached Mars in 2003 but failed upon landing on the Martian surface. Therefore it remains to be seen what exactly the plans are for the UAE's Martian device, and what it will achieve.

Politically, the planned programme to Mars and also the creation of an UAE Space Agency makes a powerful statement. It puts the Middle East on the map with regards to space exploration for scientific purposes. It could also drive the creation of a Middle East space programme, akin to that of the European Space Agency.

This does not undermine the scientific value or importance of the project proposed by the UAE. The space science research community is well-networked transnationally, and a well-funded project to the red planet by the UAE should be welcomed.

.


Related Links
London School of Economics
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MARSDAILY
India could return to Mars as early as 2017
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Jul 23, 2014
India is ramping up for a follow-up mission to Mars between 2017 and 2020 which will be scientific in scope, the chairman for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said. The final decision will be hammered out after the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) attempts to enter the orbit of the Red planet on September 24, ISRO chairman Isro K Radhakrishnan said on Thursday, the Times of Indi ... read more


MARSDAILY
China's biggest moon challenge: returning to earth

Lunar Pits Could Shelter Astronauts, Reveal Details of How 'Man in the Moon' Formed

Manned mission to Moon scheduled by Roscosmos for 2020-2031

Landsat Looks to the Moon

MARSDAILY
Lunar rock collisions behind Yutu damage

China's Fast Track To Circumlunar Mission

Chinese moon rover designer shooting for Mars

Yutu designer's bittersweet

MARSDAILY
Next ISS Cargo Spacecraft Rolls Out to Pad

Russian cargo craft docks with ISS, science satellite fails

Russian Resupply Spacecraft to Deliver Snails to ISS for Experiments

Lockheed provides support services for ISS program

MARSDAILY
Annual Checkout Makes for Great Pluto Preparation

In exactly one year, NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto

What If Voyager Had Explored Pluto?

The PI's Perspective - Childhood's End

MARSDAILY
Saturn's moon Titan has a very salty ocean

Cassini Celebrates 10 Years Exploring Saturn

Cassini Names Final Mission Phase Its 'Grand Finale'

Mysterious 'Magic Island' appears on Saturn moon

MARSDAILY
NASA's Van Allen Probes Show How to Accelerate Electrons

ADS and Esri Take Satellite Imagery Services to a Premium Level

Ten-Year Endeavor: NASA's Aura Tracks Pollutants

Hyperspec Sensors Target Vegetation Fluorescence

MARSDAILY
Voyager Spacecraft Might Not Have Reached Interstellar Space

New Fort Knox: A means to a solar-system-wide economy

SSERVI: Serving NASA's Mission to the Moon and Beyond, Part 2

NASA Announces Early Career Faculty Space Tech Research Grants

MARSDAILY
Transiting Exoplanet with Longest Known Year

Brown Dwarfs May Wreak Havoc on Orbits of Nearby Planets

NASA Mission To Reap Bonanza of Earth-sized Planets

Friction from Tides Could Help Distant Earths Survive, and Thrive




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.