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Mars on Earth: UAE Launches Multi-Million Project to Build Red Planet City

© NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Still shot from a NASA animated video showing what their Mars Helicopter would look like in action.
Still shot from a NASA animated video showing what their Mars Helicopter would look like in action. - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Arab Emirates will construct a Mars Scientific City in Dubai to simulate the conditions on Mars, by 2021, Naser Al Rashedi, the Director of Space Policy and Regulations at the UAE Space Agency told Sputnik.

"Now we want to start announcing things in between [the 2117 project] that should also lead towards the same target, which is having a human establishment on Mars. Then we announced the Mars City, which has already started the construction, in Dubai it is already started, and we expect by 2021, it is going to be there," Al Rashedi said.

An artist's conception of a human Mars base, with a cutaway revealing an interior horticultural area - Sputnik International
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A team of scientists and astronauts will live in the Mars Scientific City for one year, conducting experiments related to studies on agriculture and food security. Radiation insulation, heat and 3D printed technology will simulate the environment of Mars inside the City.

Al Rashedi added that the exploration of Mars for the country was linked to the knowledge that the country could acquire from the planet, potentially leading to its utilization.

"We choose of course Mars for various reasons…there is a lot of things that we can learn from Mars that is more applicable to Earth and to the UAE than what we are going to learn from the moon. So for us Mars is more about learning and potentially also about some sort of utilization, with other international partners," Al Rashedi said.

READ MORE: Mars Attacks! Brief List of Perils the Mission to Red Planet Would Have to Brave

The construction of the Mars Scientific City is part of the Mars 2117 project to establish a human settlement on the planet by the year 2117, announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates in 2017.

The Mars Scientific City will cover 1.9 million square feet and will cost 500 million Dirham ($136.1 million) to construct.

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