UAE announces $136 million Mars Science City

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A 500-million-dirham ($136 million) project simulating the conditions of life on Mars is set to be built in the UAE, Emirates News Agency reported Tuesday.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces are launching "Mars Science City" which will be as big as 1.9 million sq ft.


The city will be a realistic model of living on the surface of Mars to lead the global scientific race to send people to Mars as part of the Mars 2117 Strategy, which was launched earlier this year by HH Sheikh Mohammed.


The project will stand as a prototype to the first human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years.

3D printing technology as well as sand from the Emirati desert as well as educational areas designed for young people will be part of the project.

HH Sheikh Mohammed described the initiative: “The new project is another step in the UAE’s leading contributions to the global science movement; we seek to set an example and motivation for others to participate, and contribute, to humanity’s march into space.”


This project will include advanced laboratories that stimulate the red planet’s terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation. It seeks to attract the best scientific minds from around the world in a collaborative contribution in the UAE to human development and the improvement of life. It also seeks to address global challenges such as food, water and energy security on earth.

The plan for the Mars Science City project include an experiential element which will involve a team living in the stimulated red planet city for one year. It is hoped the experience will form an important reference model for future innovation around sustaining life in a hostile planetary environment. A range of experiments are to be devised which will lead to innovation around self-sufficiency in energy, water and food.

The Mars Science City structure will be the most sophisticated building the world, and will incorporate a realistic simulation environment replicating the conditions on the surface of Mars.

The city will consist of several domes, with innovative construction techniques providing support for the structures. A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, in cooperation with internationally renowned architects Bjarke Ingels.

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