UAE to gain more knowledge about Mars’ climate change by the time, says Project Manager, Oman Sharif.

Project Manager Oman Sharif says, by 2020, the Hope Mars Mission, which aims to promote the UAE’s knowledge economy and nurture a new generation of scientists, should launch its initial Hope probe.

Last Sunday at the Dubai Airshow, where the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre exhibited the Hope probe and its Mars Mission, Sharaf said: “When it comes to the Hope probe, we’re on track with the project. Last year we completed the design, this year we’re completing the engineering models, we will start building the fight models.”

Sharaf also commended the UAE’s leadership for cheering the Mission to make innovations and think “think out of the box”, while also noting the challenges of running a space programme in a small country, especially as the Emirates Hope Mission will take only five years to be completed contrast to the required 10 years of a typical Space programme.

Addressing Zawya in an interview, Sharaf said: “People think we have a NASA budget, we do not. We have very limited budget.” Of all the missions launched to Mars, half has ended in failure, he added.

Thus, “we are trying to mitigate this risk by learning from others”, he said.

Sharaf also revealed that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre aims to contribute to the country’s knowledge-based economy, by attracting the most brilliant scientists and top business performers from around the world.

More so, he said the centre has so far nurtured 30,000 youths across schools and universities, by outreach works.

By 2021, coincidental with UAE’s 50th anniversary, the Hope probe will begin orbiting Mars after its launch from Earth by 2020 and journeying a year. Onboard the Hope probe, certain equipments present will help scrutinize the causes of deoxygenation and dehydration in Mars’ upper and lower atmospheres.

Scientific theory relates that four million years ago, Mars was once habitable like Earth, but for some phenomena. Thus, Sharaf believes this exploration would help identify them, and consequently secure UAE and largely Earth’s future.

He concluded that, more pressing now than ever for the UAE, is this exploration, as it would bring hints from Mars about how to cure its “harsh” environment.