The UAE Reaching for the Stars and Beyond
By Avi Kaner
The United Arab Emirates founding father Sheikh Zayed said “We are like those who had climbed a mountain and reached the top. When we looked down we still wanted to go higher to realize our goals. Despite all the achievements, we still have an ambition for more. That is my way of looking at things.” That spirit of achievement and innovation is alive and well in the UAE, where the nation is actively exploring outer space.
This week alone, a UAE spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars took astounding images of its moon Deimos, while another spacecraft attempted a landing on our moon. Later this week, an Emirati astronaut, Dr. Al Neyad, will conduct a mission while spacewalking outside the International Space Station.
Yesterday’s attempted moon landing made the UAE only the sixth nation in history to reach the moon. Although communication with the Rashid rover was lost, the mission has inspired a nation and people around the world. Exploration is often a perilous journey with great sacrifices along the way. However, the doors it opens benefit future generations who reap the rewards. The leaders and people of the UAE continuously strive to push the envelope on great achievements, learning and innovating along the way.
The UAE Space Agency for example was established to do far more than reach for the stars. It develops young Emiratis as world-class engineers and scientists to address the challenges on the ground on our planet Earth, providing a brighter future for people around the world. The administrator of the UAE Space Agency is Sarah Al Amiri, and remarkably 80% of her science team consists of women.
Space exploration has been a dream for thousands of years. The Torah and Quran refer to stars many times, and all of our religious holidays are timed according to orbiting celestial bodies. We are living today in a time when dreams have become a reality with space exploration. Following Sheikh Zayed’s predictions, citizens of the UAE are helping to lead the way to the stars and beyond - while others talk, the UAE does.