His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said that exploring the space is an old human dream, where "our objective is that the UAE leads international efforts to realise this dream."
He said that the UAE is among the top 9 countries in the world that invest in the space sciences, adding that it aims to accelerate the research in this domain. "Human ambitions have no limits, and whoever looks into the scientific breakthroughs in the current century believes that human abilities can realise the most important human dream," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge," Sheikh Mohammed said. "The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality."
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that the objective of the near future is to develop skills and the capacities of Emiratis. "The Mars 2117 Project is a long term project, where our first objective is to develop our educational system so our sons will be able to lead scientific research across the various sectors," Sheikh Mohamed said.
He added that the knowledge outcomes of the research project will be available for all international research institutions, adding that the objective of the research is to contribute to facilitating people lives on earth as well, mainly in the domains of transportation, energy and food.
"The UAE became part of a global scientific drive to explore the space, and we hope to serve humanity through this project," Abu Dhabi Crown Prince said.
The ambitious project was launched today on the sideline of the 5th World Government Summit, and set to be developed and executed in partnership with major international scientific research institutions.
The first phase of the project will focus on preparing the human cadres able to achieve scientific breakthrough to facilitate the arrival of human to the Red Planet in the next decades. The Mars 2117 Project also aims to prepare an Emiratis scientists' team and to develop an international scientific consortium to speed up the research project. The project will start with an Emiratis scientific team and will be extended to include international scientists and researchers, in addition to streamline the human efforts in term of exploring and settlement of the red plant.
The project will also focus on developing faster means of transportation from and to the red planet, and come up with an integrated scientific visualisation of how the settlement will look like, and how life will be there in term of food, transportation and energy among many others.
Earlier, an Emirati team of engineers, along with a group of scientists and researchers, have set a concept for the first human city on Mars that will be built by robots. The plan showcased during the summit highlighted the expected lifestyle on Mars in terms of transport, power production and providing food, as well as infrastructure works and materials used for the construction of the city.
In 2015, the UAE announced its Mars Probe mission, which will send the Arab world’s first spacecraft to the Red Planet in a scientific exploration mission that will land on planet in 2021.