UAE launches $817m fund to support its space program

i24NEWS - Reuters

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A picture shows a screen broadcasting the launch of the "Hope" Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai, the UAE, on July 19, 2020.
Giuseppe CACACE / AFPA picture shows a screen broadcasting the launch of the "Hope" Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai, the UAE, on July 19, 2020.

The fund is set to develop an advanced radar satellite constellation that will support imaging applications

The United Arab Emirates announced on Sunday that it established a $817-million fund to support its space sector and to develop radar satellites. 

The UAE president Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Twitter that the “National Space Fund” will be spent on the establishment of national companies working in the space sector.

He added that the fund “will encourage partnerships between international and local enterprises, providing them with incentives as a part of the Space Economic Zones Program.”  The program called “Sirb” will also welcome scientists and environmentalists engaged in forecasting and monitoring climate change.

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According to the officials, the fund is set to develop and launch an advanced radar satellite constellation that will support imaging applications, “including environmental monitoring and analysis.” The constellation is set to detect oil spills, track ships as well as monitor road traffic and border control. 

Earlier in April, the UAE's minister of state for artificial intelligence Omar bin Sultan al-Olama said that his country wasn't just looking for economic benefits but seeks to become a leading nation in the sector. The Gulf state became the first country in the world to appoint an AI minister.  

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