UAE Seeks India's Help for Its Mars Project

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UAE Seeks India's Help for Its Mars Project
With Isro achieving success on its Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) in its maiden attempt, United Arab Emirates has sought India's cooperation for its first inter-planetary expedition, which is slated to launched in 2020.

The two countries also signed a pact to cooperate in the field of space technology Thursday.

"We recently launched the UAE Space Agency. We are looking to develop science around space particularly developing Mars mission that will culminate hopefully by 2020-21 when we celebrate our golden jubilee as a nation."

"This is another demonstration of UAE's forward looking and pioneering initiative where focus on developing partnership with those who have space expertise," Reem Al Hashimi, UAE's Minister of State for International Development said.

The Emirates Mars Mission orbiter is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. The rocket is expected to blast off from Earth during a brief "launch window" in July 2020 and is set to arrive at Mars in 2021. The move is also remarkable as UAE will be the only Gulf nation to have embarked on such ambitious project.

The spacecraft will be a compact, hexagonal-section spacecraft. It will be built from aluminum in a stiff but lightweight honeycomb structure and surfaced with a strong composite face-sheet. Its overall size and weight are comparable to a small car. It will weigh approximately 1,500 kg including fuel, and measure 2.37 m wide by 2.90m tall.

Elaborating on the space cooperation project with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Hashimi said, "We wouldn't be doing launches. We have been involved in space related activities for our satellite launches and we have worked very closely with South Korea.

"But its more focused on what are the necessary technologies that can be developed in-house that require certain level of knowledge and expertise that is specific to this industry and we have done that already in the fields of satellites."

Mohammad Anwar Gangarsh said the pact will pave to start a cooperation between the space agencies of the two states.

"Right now we have the framework for cooperation. I think this is really something which will allow the agencies to talk and communicate as so forth.

"It is extremely important that as we come to our (golden) jubilee we are putting a stretch target and at the same time we understand that this sort of programme the spill over effect on science and technology in our own society and that is extremely important," Gangarsh said.

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