United Arab Emirates wants to establish a mini city on Mars by 2117

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Mini city on Mars
Photo by Kevin M. Gill

The United Arab Emirates has announced that it wants to establish a mini city on Mars by 2117. UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained the UAE’s Mars plans in a series of tweets on Feb. 14.

“The mini city on Mars project, to be named ‘Mars 2117,’ integrates a vision to create a mini-city and community on Mars involving international cooperation,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“Mars 2117 includes a major space sciences focus in our universities. We’re building a space pioneering passion among our young people.”

It makes sense for officials to use this project to inspire young people: They’re the ones who will probably do the vast majority of the work.

If the UAE wants to have a fully-functioning mini city on Mars in 100 years, it will have to be a multi-generational effort that will span many decades, given the incipient state of the nation’s space program and current global capabilities as well.

In the time between now and 2117, the UAE, with an international partnership of researchers, will start trying to find a faster mode of transportation, and figure out what food and shelter should be.

“‘Mars 2117’ is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The UAE has already put the world on notice that the oil-rich nation has aspirations beyond our home planet, having previously announced its plan to send a robotic mission to Mars in 2015 called Hope. The uncrewed spacecraft would fly to the red planet in 2020 and make it into orbit by 2021.

On the other hand, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is also working toward creating a mini city on Mars, though the space company’s Mars mission timeline isn’t exactly clear. Musk claims that SpaceX is working towards sending its first passangers to Mars by 2024, about a decade before NASA is expected to send their first crewed mission to the vicinity of Mars.

The company’s actual plans are still a unclear when it comes to the timeline for creating its city on Mars, planned currently for the 2060s.

About Mars

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often referred to as the “Red Planet” because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a red like appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.

The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano and second-highest known mountain in the Solar System, and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons in the Solar System. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.

Source: Mashable / Twitter

Photo by Kevin M. Gill