United Arab Emirates plans to colonize Mars
search
Promised landingPromised landing

United Arab Emirates plans to colonize Mars

Dubai leaders envision robot-built city of 600,000 on red planet, once technology is developed to ensure food, energy, air and faster interplanetary transportation

The planet Mars, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003  (NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team / STScI/AURA)
The planet Mars, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003 (NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team / STScI/AURA)

Ever dreamed of going to Mars? Now you can — er, in the year 2117.

On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates announced a new project, known as Mars 2117, that aims to establish a human colony on Mars.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai and vice president and prime minister of the UAE, said of the project that “the landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans,” while adding that “our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality,” according to a statement put out by the government of Dubai.

Al-Maktoum said that the UAE was one of the leading countries in the world in “space sciences” and that the project would help the UAE to “spearhead” its “longtime dream” of space exploration.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, gives a speech during a special session at the World Government Summit 2017, in Dubai on February 12, 2017. (AFP/Stringer)
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, gives a speech during a special session at the World Government Summit 2017, in Dubai on February 12, 2017. (AFP/Stringer)

The statement said the first stage of the project would center on establishing a team to “facilitate the arrival of human[s] to the Red Planet,” with the effort being led by a crew of Emirati and international scientists.

The research team will also work on “developing faster means of transportation from and to” Mars, as well as on drawing up blueprints for how the colony would look and figuring out how to provide the necessary resources to the inhabitants, such as food and energy.

The statement also said that scientists working on the project would develop robots that would construct the city

Saeed al-Gergawi, the manager of the scientific and research committee of the World Government Summit, told CNBC on Monday that “the [planned] city is roughly the size of Chicago,” and will have a population of 600,000 people.

“We came up with that number because it’s like someone going to an exotic island, not everyone can go first, then we get advancement of rocket tech, which makes people move there easily, then the advancement of oxygen tech to make it more earth like, which would incentivize people,” al-Gergawi said.

Al-Gergawi also said that participating countries will need to sign a yearly treaty in order to take part in the project and that a “unique” economy will need to developed to be compatible with conditions on Mars.

“On Earth, we are based largely on a capitalist system. For sure we will have capitalist elements. But we would have to create something unique that would fit the needs and environment on Mars,” he said.

The colonization of Mars has turned into something of a fad of late, with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announcing in September that he is seeking to send a mission to Mars in the near future in order to transform humans into a “multiplanetary species,” CNBC reported at the time.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (R) sits next to Mohammad al-Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future, during a panel discussion at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai on February 13, 2017. (AFP Photo/Stringer)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk (R) sits next to Mohammad al-Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future, during a panel discussion at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai on February 13, 2017. (AFP Photo/Stringer)

Musk spoke during a panel at the World Government Summit alongside UAE Minister Mohammad al-Gergawi, although they did not address the possibility of cooperating on their respective plans to colonize Mars.

The Mars 2117 project is not the UAE’s first foray into exploration on Mars. In 2015, the country announced its Mars Probe mission, which seeks to land a spaceship on the plant by 2021 as part of a “scientific exploration mission.”

The country noted that if successful, the mission will mark the first ever spaceship from an Arab nation to land on Mars.

read more:
comments