The Arab nation on a mission to Mars

Published 8:53 AM ET, Thu February 15, 2018
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Officials, engineers and scientists take part in a ceremony in Dubai to unveil the UAE's Mars mission in 2015. The country's latest space project, the Space Settlement Challenge, seeks ideas that explore the possibilities around space settlement and habitation. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The UAE has announced a number of ambitious space endeavors in recent years, including sending the Hope spacecraft (or Al Amal in Arabic) to Mars in 2020. courtesy Emirates Mars Mission
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai (center), enthusiastically backs the Hope project. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
If successful, Al Amal will begin its orbit of the Martian surface in 2021, in time for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Sarah Al Amiri (right), deputy project manager of the Mars Mission, says the UAE hopes to inspire the youth of the Middle East. KARIM SAHIB/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Emirati scientists work on a the Al Amal probe in a lab at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center on the outskirts of Dubai. courtesy Emirates Mars Mission
A composite image of Mars put together by NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. The UAE Mars Mission aims to provide data about weather patterns on Mars and investigate whether hydrogen and oxygen are seeping into space from the planet. Handout/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
The UAE aims to invest further in the field of space research by building the giant Mars Science City in the desert outside Dubai. courtesy Dubai Media Office
The project is expected to cost $136 million but there is currently no date for completion. courtesy Dubai Media Office
The aim of the project is to simulate what life would be like for a colony on Mars. courtesy Dubai Media Office
The UAE has stated its aim to create a colony on Mars by 2117. courtesy Dubai Media Office