The United Arab Emirates unveils plans for first Arab mission to Mars, designed to inspire young Arab scientists and bring hope to region rife with conflict and despair. Mana Rabiee reports.
It's an ambitious plan. The UAE wants to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021 ... the Arab world's first ever mission to another planet. It would launch in the summer of 2020 and take nine months to journey to the red planet, making the UAE one of only nine countries with a Mars space program. Ruler Of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum says the project can bring hope to a young generation of Arabs living in a conflicted region. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UAE AND RULER OF DUBAI, SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM, SAYING: "This mission to Mars is really for the hope of the Arab world and sending them a message to say: 'You can be better, you can improve your country, you can reach where you want." If successful, the so-called "Hope Probe" would reach Mars just in time for the UAE's 50th anniversary of independence. The mission would mostly gather data on the Martian climate and atmosphere and would be shared freely with the global scientific community.