The celebration was attended by Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the Agency, as well as the agency’s board members, which included Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the Agency, and several government employees and officials, relevant parties and companies that work and operate in the national space sector, along with the agency’s local and international partners.
"The four years since the establishment of the UAE Space Agency have seen this promising sector fulfil its strategic potential, which enabled it to keep pace with the technological revolution. We have taken our place among our international partners, to benefit humanity and create an empowered, educated and innovative future generation who are capable of continuing the nation’s journey and mission with excellence," Dr. Al Falasi said in his speech.
"We have the right to be proud of what we have achieved, as the challenges that we have overcome have become a platform for launching new and progressive space initiatives and programmes, which will encourage us to continue developing and building our capacities and achieve our targets," he added.
Al Falasi explained that the UAE Space Agency is continuing its mission to regulate, support and develop the UAE’s space sector, through launching ambitious space programmes, projects and initiatives that reflect the government’s vision, strategies and plans.
Dr. Al Ahbabi said that the agency has had unlimited ambitions since its establishment, and one of its key goals is to see an Emirati astronaut representing the country at the international space station.
He added that the agency always aims to realise its strategic objectives over a short timeframe, which will enable it to achieve its goals and prove its stature and resolve to the entire world.
The celebration highlighted the agency’s overall accomplishments over the past four years, as well as its success in advancing the UAE’s space sector and launching space projects and missions.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has received over 4,000 applications (aged between 17 and 67) from Emiratis aspiring to join the UAE Astronaut Programme.
The UAE also revealed plans to build a city called Mars Scientific City, a AED 500 million project that will simulate life on Mars within the UAE’s objectives to lead the global scientific race to take people to Mars and is part of the Mars 2117 Strategy. The City will cover 1.9 million square feet, making it the largest space-simulation city ever built and will provide a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars. The UAE also plans to launch the Hope Mars Mission, a space exploration probe mission to Mars, in 2020.