Mon 13-07-2020 12:02 PM
By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 13th July, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE’s Mars Mission will inspire new projects and enterprises, including big companies and SMEs, in all sectors, to take risks, mitigate them and succeed, a minister told Emirates News Agency, WAM.
"When you talk about transforming the economy and developing science and technology, and building new companies and small and medium enterprises, it depends on the capability to take risks, mitigate them and come out with larger impacts," said Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, and Deputy Project Manager and Science Lead of the UAE’s Mars Mission, Hope Probe.
"There is a greater appetite for risk in the Mars Mission, which is a project that is five times more complex than any other space mission we have undertaken," she added.
"This has allowed us to further develop our skills and to know how to address all possible challenges and potential risks, overcome them and how to make sure that we always have our target in mind."
The way the Mars Mission is meeting the challenges and achieving its target will inspire other projects and enterprises in all other sectors, Al Amiri said in a Zoom interview from Japan where she is supervising the last leg operations for the launch of Hope Probe.
The Probe is scheduled to lift off at 00:51:27 UAE time on Wednesday, 15th July 2020, from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.
"Launching the spacecraft, getting it separated from the launch vehicle after a few hours, deploying the solar panels, receiving the first signal following the launch and ensuring that the spacecraft is functioning according to its design and headed towards Mars...all these are challenging manoeuvres and challenging aspects of the mission as we move forward," Al Amiri said.
"Also, the spacecraft reaching Mars and attaining its capture orbit around the planet are big challenges."
The Mars Mission will help strengthen the key components of the UAE’s industrial sector and knowledge based economy, the minister pointed out.
"When you talk about the UAE’s economy in the next 30 years, one of its foundations is science and technology because you want to have an economy based on knowledge ...knowledge of production, utilisation of knowledge and creating intangible assets. That’s how the most sustainable economies work around the world," she explained.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, envisioned the Mars Mission to develop skills of Emirati youth in that direction, the minister said.
"The skills of engineers to design and develop complex systems [as done in the Mars Mission]...that is a key component of industrial innovation. Many people focus on manufacturing but the design and development of products are more valuable in today’s industrial development," Al Amiri noted.
Asked about the mission’s inspiration to the Emirati youth to study science and technology-related subjects, she said, "There are ever expanding opportunities being created for them when it comes to working in the sciences and engineering. As the economy grows and diversifies further, more such opportunities will come up."
She added, "We are now living at a time in the UAE where it is possible to work in any area that somebody wishes to work in."
As part of the Mars Mission, the minister and her team conducted a lot of educational and outreach programmes for youth of various ages to offer in-depth knowledge on building the systems and the role of scientists, researchers and engineers in space sector.
The Mars Mission has also resulted in a quantum leap for the UAE’s Mars science capability, with a programme designed to train young engineers at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, in science data analysis and research.
"We've also included research experience and arranged an apprentice programme for our engineering team abroad, where they worked with world renowned scientists in the areas of research. They were also able to gain valuable experience, presenting their research outcomes in major conferences," the minister explained.
"This has exposed our young people to all the possibilities of the science and technology sector and allowed them to select the areas that they are passionate about and where they will be able to create an impact," Al Amiri concluded.
WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla