We wrote earlier about the UAE Space Agency’s intent to launch a probe to Mars within the next three years. The space agency is also ambitious about colonizing the Red Planet, but also the UAE wants to grow plants on Mars.
UAE wants to grow plants On Mars: palm trees and strawberries
Rashid Al Zaadi, a senior strategic partner of the UAE Space Agency, said that Mars and the Earth’s deserts share a lot of similarities, which led the UAE to target projects that aim to grow plants on Mars, specifically, palm trees, lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries. Al Zaadi said that it’s “important to have trees and crops on the Red Planet” to go along with the plans for colonizing the Red Planet.
“The landscape of the UAE, the soil, are similar,” Al Zaadi told the BBC. “Well, when we get there, we’ll have to eat,” Al Zaadi said.
The UAE Space Agency is not the only agency working on this. NASA is also working on finding crops that can be planted and grow on the Red Planet. The U.S. space agency said last year that it’s working with the Florida Tech Buzz Aldrin Space Institute in Melbourne, Florida on a simulated “Martian garden.” Scientists said that the objective is to find plants that could be planted on a farm on Mars and that the discoveries made on Martian lands may “pave way for efficient food production in space.”
UAE Space Agency about resurrecting a lost Arabic Trait
The UAE Space Agency has formed only three years ago. However, the country has advanced and invested more than $5.4 billion in Mars projects. This year’s Dubai Airshow featured a mock-up of the agency’s probe to signify bringing back the old Arabic trait of exploring and understanding.
UAE Space Agency Director General Mohammed Al Ahbabi said at the airshow on Tuesday, “Unfortunately there was a decline but now through this big project we want to send a message to the people that it is still possible to study space.”
Even the rulers of the UAE have mentioned the mission and described it as “an epic challenger.” If all preparations go as planned, it is expected that the final step will be “a manned landing on Mars” within the next 100 years. Although it might never happen, the country will definitely create a new generation of scientists while managing to grow a lot more plants in the desert where conditions for growing plants and vegetables are more than challenging.