The first Martian “city” is for tomorrow

The first Martian “city” is for tomorrow

After orbiting a probe around Mars and launching an exploration rover to the Moon, the United Arab Emirates plan to build a city on the red planet.

So far, only three countries, the USSR, the United States and China, have landed a spacecraft on the Moon. For the past few days, a 10-kilogram rover, Rashid, designed by Emirati engineers, has been on its way to our satellite on which it should land in the spring of 2023. A new stage in the space deployment decided by the United Arab Emirates for a dozen of years. With, in sight, a (very) long-term project: the first human base on Mars.

The station would be built by robots and would take the form of domes, an architecture implied due to the weak Martian gravity

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This still distant station has a double purpose: to provide a goal, in order to train two or three generations of engineers, and to build a competitive space industry within the framework of a hundred-year program, as formulated by the Mohammed Ben Space Center Rashid in 2017.

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The station would be built by robots and take the form of domes, an architecture implied by the low Martian gravity (about a third of that on Earth) and the levels of solar radiation on the planet. Even if the technologies available in the next century still make the solutions deployed for this Martian city uncertain, the United Arab Emirates wish to model the main principles on earth, around Dubai. By building the foundations of what could be the first Martian “city”.

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“This project is a seed that we are planting today, so that future generations will reap the benefits” Sheikh Mohammed Ben Rashid

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Paris Match. What is the goal of the United Arab Emirates in space?
Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi.
We want to create a platform to attract nations willing to collaborate in space exploration. There is a scientific and economic opportunity for the whole world. There is talk of a market of 1 billion dollars by 2030. The United Arab Emirates aspires to become a responsible partner for countries and their companies wishing to develop there.

“There is a scientific and economic opportunity for the whole world”

SALEM BUTTI SALEM AL QUBAISI
Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency

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You have already launched satellites, a probe around Mars, a rover on the Moon, all that in a very short time. What’s the next project?
All our missions have only one goal: to improve our scientific knowledge. In 2028, we will launch a probe on Venus, then on the asteroid belt, and will study exactly seven of them. Before landing on one of them, in 2033. At 3.6 billion kilometers from our planet, it is a colossal challenge. With the ambition to find water. This would be a fundamental step in the perspective of future interplanetary missions.