The Guardian published a report on the first mission of the UAE to Mars, which it called the “probe of hope”, highlighting the suspicions of the vanity of the dictatorship that adheres to the regime in Abu Dhabi.
The newspaper report questioned the timing of this mission launch, which comes amid the Coronavirus crisis, a decline in oil prices, a slowdown in economic growth, a decline in tourism, and a controversy about the UAE’s participation in civil wars in the region. The writer pointed out that the UAE leaders portray the mission to Mars, which will take the “probe” year to reach this planet, as being about the survival and future of the Middle East in general.
The report believes that the mission is a sign of the distribution of the “space cartel”, which was exclusively for the great powers, in a way in which national countries or private companies have become missions to the planets.
He said that the “Mars Probe of Hope” that will be launched from Japan on July 15, and which the UAE has been preparing for since 2014, which Imran Sharaf, the project manager, sees as an important part of the country’s economic development, which is “about the future and survival of the Emirates,” he says.
The probe will not land on Mars, but it will revolve around it to study the dynamics that surround it and its climate for a year, as a picture of it will be formed. One of the tasks is to find the reason why hydrogen and oxygen have disappeared from Mars.
“We are studying a planet that looks like our planet, but has gone through developments that made it without water, which is the main component of life,” said deputy project manager Sarah Al-Amri. And she said, “for example, if there was a sandstorm on Mars, would this increase the rates of oxygen and hydrogen escape?” The UAE confirms that the data that will be collected will be distributed to 200 space institutions, including the NASA.
The report notes that this summer will be a bus for Mars, as China and the United States are preparing for missions on the planet, but no curious mission like the Emirati. Only 50 years have passed since the emergence of the Emirates, and it has only a primitive base in terms of engineering and scientific research. Hence, the Emirati mission is exciting. Because the proportion of 50% of the tasks that were launched for Mars ended in failure, and does not guarantee the honor of the success of the mission, but believes that the examination is necessary before the launch.
He considered that launching the mission comes at a time when Dubai is witnessing economic stagnation, a decline in oil prices and wars abroad, all of which give ammunition to Emiratis who see the mission as a giant project that expresses vanity, and comes at an appropriate time and is supervised by a dictatorial leadership.
But the UAE leadership sees in it a picture of trying to create a diverse and skilled workforce for the post-oil period. He believes that the message behind the mission is to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the UAE on December 2, 2021, “with a great message, which is reaching Mars,” he says.
The UAE sent a satellite last year in cooperation with South Korea, and it also sent Hazza Al Mansouri on the first international space flight. However, Sharaf says that the mission of Mars is different. Because “the condition is that you adopt it, don’t buy it.”
That is why the UAE has searched for partners in the United States and Japan that will be the starting point, and has worked with the University of Colorado, Arizona State University and the space laboratory in Berkeley – California, and the probe will be launched from the Tanjishima Space Center in Japan.