Sarah Garden23 Feb 2017 AT 10:47 AM

UAE takes first steps towards building a city on Mars

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is leading the project
Sarah Garden23 Feb 2017 AT 10:47 AM
News, Mars 2117, UAE
© Shutterstock
News, Mars 2117, UAE
© Dubai Media Office
News, Mars 2117, UAE
© Dubai Media Office

It was a story that almost broke the internet. The UAE announced plans to build a city on Mars in 2117 earlier this week, in what many thought sounded like the script for a new sci-fi movie.

But the ambitious plan to colonise the red planet isn’t just a dramatic announcement, and the first steps are already being taken to meet to 100 year deadline.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is leading the project, which will see them focus on developing the skills of a new generation of Emiratis in space science fields.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, issued directives to MBRSC to lead the ‘Mars 2117’ project and prepare a plan for implementation.

As part of the first stage to nurture specialised cadres, they are preparing new talent in fields like research, artificial intelligence, robotics and advanced space technologies.

The first five years of the plan will also focus on technical and logistical aspects of the project – and given that nothing like this has ever been attempted before, that’s an extremely ambitious task.

Mars 2117 is another example of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to show young people that the sky is not the limit, and in this case he’s doing so quite literally.

"There are no limits to the imagination and aspirations of human beings," he tweeted, following the announcement.

“The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge…The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”

Once the first few stages are complete, the next steps will look into mobility, housing, energy and food on Mars. Plus, it’s hoped that we’ll have a quicker way of reaching the planet by then.

Now we just need to figure out a way to live for another 100 years...

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