The United Arab Emirates is embarking on an ambitious space mission to explore seven asteroids. This initiative aims to push the boundaries of knowledge and contribute to scientific research on celestial objects. The exploration of these asteroids will deepen our understanding of the universe and prepare for future space missions.
UAE in Space Mission : Discoveries of Science
In 2021, the United Arab Emirates announced the takeoff of a spacecraft whose name is still unknown. In 2028, it will visit seven different asteroids from the main belt. The seven targets of this mission are: 10253 Westerwald, 623 Chimaera in a flyby, 13294 Rockox, 88055 in a flyby, 23871, 59980 in a flyby, and 269 Justitia on appointment.
The mission will be launched in 2028 and will visit 7 asteroids in the main belt, including 6 high-speed flyby encounters en route to a rendezvous with asteroid 269 Justitiaaccording to the mission design detail
After the rendezvous with 269 Justitia, the probe will deploy a lander to attempt to land on the asteroid’s surface. To date, only NASA’s OSIRIS-REx and NEAR (Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) Shoemaker probes, and Japan’s Hayabusa1 and Hayabusa2 probes have managed to land softly on an asteroid.
The UAE’s space mission aims to land on asteroid 269 Justitia, which is uniquely 53 kilometers wide and has a reddish color due to compounds called Tholins. The departure for this journey is planned for April 2034, and the trip will last six years until 2040. Using solar-electric propulsion, it will flyby Venus, Earth, and Mars. This mission marks the collaboration of the United Arab Emirates and the University of Colorado at Boulder aimed at studying the resources of water-rich asteroids.
The Relationship Between the UAE and NASA
The United Arab Emirates and NASA maintain a partnership in the field of space exploration. The two countries have worked together on projects such as the Mars Hope mission, launched by the Emirates to study Mars’ atmosphere. NASA provided technical assistance and expertise through data and knowledge exchanges. This relationship demonstrates a shared commitment to space exploration and a willingness to promote international cooperation.