Tuesday 4 August 2020

UAE Mars mission 'a catalyst for change in the country'

ABU DHABI, 19 days ago

The UAE's Mars Hope probe will be a catalyst for change in UAE youth and is part of the push for economic diversification in a country where oil dominates the economy, says the mission's project manager. 
The UAE's Mars Hope probe -- the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission -- is expected to be launched at 12:43am UAE time on July 17. It aims to capture the most comprehensive picture yet of the Red Planet's atmosphere. But the team behind it hopes it will have a bigger impact here on Earth, says a CNN report. 
Speaking to CNN, Omran Sharaf, the mission's project manager, explains: “Reaching Mars is not the main goal here, it’s a means for a much bigger goal. It’s about the future of our economy, about creating the post-oil economy, a creative, innovative and a competitive economy.”
Sharaf talks about the government’s hopes: "The UAE government wanted to inspire Emirati youth to go into STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and wanted to use this mission as a catalyst for change in multiple sectors, which includes academic sector, industrial sector and economic sector.”
Even though the probe is still seven months away from reaching Mars, Sharaf tells CNN that the project has already achieved success in the UAE. “Since the mission was announced we've seen the impact of the mission at different sectors. We've seen universities starting science programs that they didn't have in the past... We've seen undergraduate students switching majors from finance and international relations to sciences. So, when it comes to the vision itself, we've already seen the impact."
Fatma Hussain Lootah, manager of the team's instrument science section, speaks about the mission’s significance: “This is the golden age of space in the UAE.”
She continues: “This is the time we decided to stand out in maybe a sector nobody expected us to develop in, because it's knowledge-based, it's very science-based."
Sharaf and the team hope that the mission will provide unprecedented information about Mars' atmosphere, data that could help scientists understand Earth’s atmosphere. “A better understanding of what happened to Mars, will help us better understand the changes happening on Earth.” - TradeArabia News Service


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