NASA is teaming up with United Arab Emirates to gather data for a manned mission to Mars

nasa uae mars mission collaboration image1
U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi
While most of us were lazing around playing video games or catching up on chores over the weekend, NASA spent its Sunday announcing a new agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The agreement will see both nations collaborate on a range of space project and aeronautical researching — including the possibility of a cooperative mission to Mars.

“NASA is leading an ambitious journey to Mars that includes partnerships with the private sector and many international partners,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “I am confident this new framework agreement with the UAE Space Agency will help advance this journey.”

The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) has been open about its plans to land an unmanned probe on Mars by the year 2021, which just so happens to mark the nation’s fiftieth anniversary. NASA, for its part, wants to land American astronauts on Mars sometime in the 2030s. Together it’s a match made in… well, the heavens.

Population: us?
Population: us? Moyan Brenn/Flickr CC

“The reason why cooperation and collaboration are important to the UAESA is because we believe that working alongside international partners is the best way to accelerate the development of space technologies and the space sector within the UAE,” said UAE Space Agency Chairman Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi.

Speaking to Digital Trends about the newly-announced collaboration, American astronautics engineer and co-founder of The Planetary Society Louis D. Friedman said that the exploration of Mars should be a human mission — and not confined to any one nation.

“It must be that of Earth, not just of any single nation or company,” he says. “It will be advanced and enabled by international cooperation and the efforts by NASA to lead on this Journey to Mars are a welcome step forward.”

Friedman observes that international collaboration has been in NASA’s DNA dating back to the original Space Act in 1958. This has so far led to great global projects like the International Space Station and International Halley Watch. Here in 2016, global global initiatives like this meeting of the minds are a must-have in the modern space race.

“It is a complex effort to build an international effort, but worth the cost politically, economically, and technically,” Friedman says.

Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

After a record-setting 15 years, NASA ends Opportunity rover’s tour of Mars

NASA has officially called it quits on its record-setting Mars rover Opportunity, eight months after last hearing from the lander. The Rover landed on the Red Planet in early 2004.
Emerging Tech

U.K. company sets a record for world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine

U.K. startup Orbex has unveiled the world’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine. It's up to 30 percent lighter and 20 percent more efficient than other similarly sized rockets. Here's how it will be used.
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Emerging Tech

A river of stars one billion years old flows across the southern sky

Astronomers have identified a river of stars flowing across our galaxy and covering most of the southern sky. The estimated 4000 stars that comprise the stream were born together and have been moving together for the last one billion years.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate the origins of our universe

NASA is launching an ambitious mission to map the entire sky to understand the origins of the universe. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission will launch in 2023.
Emerging Tech

Probes exploring Earth’s hazardous radiation belts enter final phase of life

The Van Allen probes have been exploring the radiation belts around Earth for seven years. Now the probes are moving into the final phase of their exploration, coming closer to Earth to gather more data before burning up in the atmosphere.