The UAE Ambassador to China Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri spoke about the UAE’s significant step in its journey of development and transformation, with the launch of Hope Probe to Mars on Monday.

In an Op-Ed written for China Daily, Dr. Ali Al Dhaheri also drew similarities between his host country’s ambition for space exploration, and the UAE’s, saying “The UAE and China are representing bold and futuristic steps in the modern age – from commerce to technology and skylines.”

Now with China gearing up for the launch of a similar mission to Mars ‘Tianwen-1’ in the near future, Dr. Al Dhaheri said that there are opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in space technology. “During my recent visit to the China academy of Space Technology I was provided the privilege of seeing first-hand the work and simulations for a Mars landing by China. I could see a number of opportunities for the UAE space agencies to work with the CAST team in future.”

Chinese Tianwen-1, named after an ancient Chinese poem, ‘Heavenly Questions’, will launch an orbiter to fly around Mars, and a lander that will release a rover to look for water and ice and explore the atmosphere and soil. “This will lift off in July or August, reaching the red planet by February 2021,” the Ambassador pointed out.

“The Hope Probe will send a message of hope to the people of the world, and aims to revive the rich Arab heritage in the area of science, as well provide a positive affirmation of the UAE’s longstanding ambitions to expand the boundaries of possibilities and shape a bright future for humanity. There is also opportunity with other nations who hold even more active and ambitious space programmes, such as China,” he said.

“Now our nations are pushing our technology into higher planes. With our progressing and developing relationship providing a robust platform, there are opportunities for our nations to rise together in space technology as we advance the progress of common humanity,” he added.

He continued, “The Hope Probe builds upon the UAE’s progress in a robust satellite programme and applies it to Mars. The UAE Satellite Programme has been at the forefront of our nation’s ever-advancing progress in the space science and technology sector. Our country has developed a nanosatellite Nayif-1, as well as its first two observation satellites, DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2, which were launched in 2009 and 2013 respectively.

“In October 2018, the launch of the first 100 percent UAE-designed and manufactured Earth observation satellite, the highly sophisticated KhalifaSat, was celebrated as a historical milestone.

KhalifaSat cemented the UAE’s position among the world’s leading space technology manufacturers, as well as the nation’s role in actively contributing valuable satellite imaging data to human progress.”

“On the ground, the UAE’s satellite spacecraft operations are conducted by Mission Control Centre at Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC’s headquarters in Dubai. MBRSC plans and operates the missions, monitors and commands the satellites and also receives, processes and distributes satellite imagery for analysis.”

“Similarly”, Al Dhaheri added, “In China, satellite technology is making great strides, with June seeing the country launch the final satellite in its Beidou collection, of which 55 have been sent into the atmosphere since October 2000. The move marks a further step in the country’s advance as a major space power and sees Beidou in the top four satellite systems globally, along with the USA’s Global Positioning System, Russia’s Glonass and Europe’s Galileo.

“By the end of 2019, more than 100 million Beidou-based navigation chips, modules and other products had been sold, with all sorts of applications including 6.6 million taxis, buses and trucks around China. More than 70 percent of mobile phones registered in China are compatible with Beidou signals.”

“This means,” he explained, “there are parallels with China in such technology, and complementary strengths. When new development happens simultaneously, knowledge and technologies can be worked on in tandem, with partners both benefiting from advancement together.”

“The UAE has long been focusing on advanced technology, and the Hope Probe will prove to be a launch pad into an advanced technology sector. The UAE is demonstrating its ability to apply organisation, skills, knowledge and expertise on the grandest of scales, using the most advanced technologies. In this case, 450 engineers, technicians and experts are involved in the project, with 12,000 tasks in six years and 5.5 million working hours. The UAE is, like China, gearing up for an advanced future technology sector and there is much scope for bilateral work. It is truly an exciting time for both of our nations, with the best yet to come,” he further stated.

“Let the UAE and China be united in hope, or as we would say ‘Amal’ or أمل in Arabic and 希望 in Mandarin. Such a concept unifies both our nations, especially in these exciting and inspiring times. Our great endeavours see our countries push our boundaries even further, with advanced technologies taking us toward the stars,” the UAE diplomat said in conclusion.

Originally posted at : urdupoint