The United Arab Emirates announced a new space exploration mission on Tuesday.
The spacecraft will be launched in 2028 to explore the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The mission aims to land on an asteroid by 2033, making the UAE the fourth country in history to accomplish this feat, the official Emirates News Agency reported.
asteroids are large rocks in space, smaller than planets. Meteors are small pieces of asteroid that break off and burn when they enter a planetary atmosphere.
The new spacecraft will also orbit Venus and Earth to build up the speed it needs to reach the asteroid belt beyond Mars, the Emirates News Agency said.
The Emirates are not new to space exploration. The UAE launched its Hope probe to Mars in July 2020, becoming the first country in the Arab world to conduct a Mars mission. Hope reached the orbit of Mars in February and will spend more than a year studying the planet. This new mission will make use of innovations developed during the Mars mission.
Space exploration is an important goal of UAE leaders, who want to be at the forefront of innovation.
“We have our eyes on the stars because our journey to development and progress knows no boundaries, no boundaries and no limits,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “With every new advance we make in space, we create opportunities for young people here on Earth.”