Tag Archives: UAE

UAE adopts a national space policy

The competition heats up: The cabinet of the United Arab Emirates has adopted a national space policy for the Arab nation.

This push by the UAE to become a major player in space is being entirely led by, to quote the story at the link, the “Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.” His effort is a good thing, but in many ways a hollow gesture. The UAE does not yet have the people or the infrastructure for its own space program. What they have is a lot of oil money, which will allow them to buy those skills from others. This is what they are doing for their Mars probe that they hope to launch in 2020.

Whether the skills will then remain within the UAE remains questionable.

NASA and United Arab Emirates sign space cooperation deal

The competition heats up (but not in the way you think): NASA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) space agency have signed an agreement to cooperate in space research and technology development.

The agreement covers cooperation and collaboration in space science, operational Earth observation and Earth science, aeronautics, space operations and exploration, education, technology, safety and mission assurance, and other areas with potential benefits to all nations.

The two countries will continue to identify additional areas of mutual interest for possible future cooperative programs or joint activities on Earth, in airspace, or in outer space. These activities may include the joint use of aircraft, scientific instruments aboard spacecraft, ground-based research facilities, spacecraft and space research platforms, as well as ground-based antennas for tracking, telemetry, and data acquisition. Additionally, the two countries will aim to collaborate on the creation and implementation of education and public outreach programs and joint workshops, with the goal of facilitating the exchange of scientific data, scientists, engineers, and views and experiences on relevant regulatory frameworks and standards.

The competition here is not between these big space government programs, who are increasingly teaming up, but between the big space government programs and the profitable and uncontrolled private sector. I fully expect there to be more calls for government supervision and licensing of private space, just to control it better. And what better way to leverage that control but to link every big space program in the world together, so that there are no independent efforts?

United Arab Emirates teams up with Japan

The new colonial movement: The United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) has signed a cooperative agreement with Japan’s space agency JAXA.

The details are slim, but I suspect it is similar to the recent UAE/India deal and involves the UAE providing some of its oil money in exchange for getting some of Japan’s technical help.

Update: My suspicions were correct. UAESA has purchased launch services from Japan Mitsubishi for its Mars mission, dubbed Hope, scheduled for launch in 2020.

India and UAE to ink Mars project deal

The competition heats up: India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plan to sign two deals today, one of which will lead to the first Arab Mars mission.

It appears that India will help UAE build its first mission to Mars, using the technology they developed for Mangalyaan. In exchange, the second deal will bring up to $75 billion of UAE investment capital into India.

UAE establishes space agency

The competition heats up: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in conjunction with its goal to send an unmanned probe to Mars, has announced the formation of its own NASA-like space agency.

Reading the long official press announcement at the link above will make you realize that a lot of this is public relations fluff being pushed by the UAE’s sheiks. Stripping that away, what I find left is mostly a program to educate students.

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.

A drone that flies in a protective cage wins million dollar prize

The competition heats up: A privately developed drone called Gimball that flies inside a protective cage so that it is not harmed by obstacles and is also not a threat to nearby humans was named the first prize winner, worth $1 million, in a United Arab Emirates (UAE) dorne competition.

Amazing video of the working Gimball drone prototype below the fold. It is a brilliant concept, and is without doubt going to revolutionize the use of drones in numerous ways. Expect all drones to soon have similar protective cages as well.
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Identification of unknown airstrikes in Libya revealed

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have admitted they launched combined air strikes in Libya this past week.

There are two aspects of this story that are significant. First:

Egyptian officials explicitly denied the operation to American diplomats, the officials said. It is almost as if the theme of ignoring and/or mocking US superpower status exhibited most recently by both China and Russia, is gradually spreading to even the more “banana” republics around the world. Because, while one can debate the pros and cons of any previous administration, it is very much improbable that any regime, especially ones as close to the US as the UAE, and to a lesser extent Egypt, would have conducted such military missions without preclearing with the Pentagon first.

Desperate to stop radical Islamists from taking over Libya, Egypt and UAE made the decision to act without U.S. involvement, on their own. They no longer felt obliged to get our advice, or even tell us what they intended to do.

Second, the air strikes illustrate how the Middle East is becoming increasingly destabilized. The U.S. is seen as weak and unwilling to act. Thus, the radicals move to grab power, and the status quo elites feel compelled to respond.

As long as Barack Obama is in power, expect this unstable situation to become even more unstable. When we occupied Iraq we brought stability and the promise of civilized rule of law. Until recently that stability was held together by either our presence or the belief that we would return if things got out of hand. Now everyone in the Middle East knows the U.S. will do nothing, no matter what happens. They are on their own. And the crazies are moving to take advantage of our absence to bring chaos to the region.

The UAE wants to go to Mars

The competition heats up: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced today that it is creating a space agency to build and launch an unmanned mission to Mars by 2021.

The announcement included this statement by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai:

Despite all the tensions and the conflicts across the Middle East, we have proved today how positive a contribution the Arab people can make to humanity through great achievements, given the right circumstances and ingredients. Our region is a region of civilisation. Our destiny is, once again, to explore, to create, to build and to civilise. We chose the epic challenge of reaching Mars because epic challenges inspire us and motivate us. The moment we stop taking on such challenges is the moment we stop moving forward.

I wish them luck, since building spaceships and exploring the heavens is a far better occupation that trying to kill Jews. I remain skeptical however. They will have to show real achievement before I will believe this is something more than a simple feel-good public relations stunt by the UAE’s leaders.

“Our spaceships to fly from here to Abu Dhabi to New Mexico in no more than an hour.”

“Our spaceships to fly from here to Abu Dhabi to New Mexico in no more than an hour.”

The suggestion from this story is that not only will Virgin Galactic fly suborbital tourism flights out of Abu Dhabi, but the deal includes an effort to turn SpaceShipTwo into a transportation vehicle as well. Most interesting.