Burj is not the limit as UAE aims for Mars

In true Emirati style, the Mars replica will not be just a facility, but an entire city spread around two million square feet of desert land in Dubai | All images - mbrsc.ae

All eyes are on Mars this decade, as space giants ramp up explorations to the red planet, with an intent to explore technologies that will benefit human habitats in future. A new entrant to this elite club is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is fast emerging as a strong contender for interplanetary space missions.

The UAE space agency, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), is aggressively pursuing space projects, with its eyes set on colonising Mars in the next century.

As a step toward this goal, the Emirati space agency launched an orbiter called Hope to Mars in July 2020. Hope will be reaching our planetary neighbour on February 9 and will collect comprehensive atmospheric data. Hope’s weather maps will serve as a ready-reckoner for upcoming missions as well as future Martian habitats.

However, gathering weather data alone will not suffice. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed. How will humans live and survive on the inhospitable planet? How will they generate life-sustaining resources like oxygen and water? Can they grow their food and thrive? Besides, how will their habitats protect from harsh space radiations?

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