Tag Archives: Dubai

Dubai to use jetpacks to fight fires

Buck Rogers lives! In order to better fight fires among its many high skyscrapers, Dubai officials have purchased 20 jetpacks for use by its firefighters.

Martin Jetpacks have been developed with first responder use in mind. They can be flown by a pilot or via remote control, take off and land vertically, operate in confined spaces (such as close to or between buildings or near trees) and carry commercial payloads of up to 120 kg (265 lb). This functionality means the Jetpacks can provide a variety of first response services. For example, they can be used for surveillance or observation (such as to determine the focus of a fire), transporting equipment to where it is required, rescuing individuals or deploying specialist teams.

Though it sounds cool, remotely controlled drones would make more sense for most of these tasks. The jetpacks might be useful for getting crews in and out of difficult high locations, as well as possibly rescuing trapped victims, but to make this practical will require significant training, something that I don’t see as realistic.

The plans for the first Arab probe to Mars revealed

The competition heats up: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday unveiled its plans for its first unmanned mission to Mars, dubbed al-Amal (“Hope”).

They hope to launch by 2020.

Forgive me if I am skeptical. Unlike India, which just succeeded in doing this, the UAE has no history or background in space exploration. India has been building satellites for decades. It has its own rockets. It had already launched a successful mission to the Moon. The UAE has done none of this yet. They are starting from ground zero.

Then again, one has to start somewhere.

This UAE effort illustrates again what I call the new colonial movement, where nations across the globe are increasingly pushing to participate in the exploration of space, because they realize that if they don’t, they will get left behind by their neighbors. Whether or not UAE succeeds, their decision to enter the competition proves the competition exists, and such a competition can only add energy to the effort to colonize the solar system.