The first Mars mission by the United Arab Emirates, dubbed Hope, is still be on schedule for its 2020 launch, according to the mission’s project manager.
Omran Sharaf said: “The mission has been on track so far. We’ve completed the PDR — Preliminary Design Review — and hopefully we’ll hold the CDR [Critical Design Review] soon.” His comments came during his presentation on ‘How Could the UAE Get to Mars?’ on the second and final day of the [Project Space] forum, held at Dubai World Trade Centre for the first time. Project Space is held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Shaikh Hamdan is the chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), organiser of Project Space.
During Wednesday’s talk on EMM, Sharaf added that “the system design has been completed … and we’re starting to work on the engineering models of the mission. So this is the current phase of the mission”.
Like most stories about space coming from the UAE, they spend more time listing the titles of the bigwigs running the project than providing much specific information about the project itself. I remain skeptical they can pull this off.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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