The UAE Government have unveiled plans for a USD$136 million Mars Science City project which will provide a viable and realistic model to simulate living on the surface of Mars.
The proposed project will cover 1.9 million square feet, making it the largest space stimulation city ever built.
The simulated colony would feature laboratories for food, energy and water and agricultural testing and studies about food security in the future.
It will also boast a museum that displays humanity’s greatest space achievements, including educational areas meant to engage young citizens with space, and inspire in them a passion for exploration and discovery.
The walls of the museum will be 3D printed, using sand from the Emirati desert.
The Mars Science City project was unveiled at the annual meetings for the UAE government in Abu Dhabi, which was attended by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
"The UAE seeks to establish international efforts to develop technologies that benefit humankind, and that establish the foundation of a better future for more generations to come," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
"We also want to consolidate the passion for leadership in science in the UAE, contributing to improving life on earth and to developing innovative solutions to many of our global challenges.
"We believe in the potential of space exploration, and in collaborating with global partners and leaders in order to harness the findings of this research and movement that seeks to meet people’s needs and improve quality of life on earth.
"The new project is another step in the UAE’s leading contributions to the global science movement; we seek to set an example and motivation for others to participate, and contribute, to humanity’s march into space," he said.
The Mars Science City project falls within the UAE’s objectives to lead the global scientific race to take people to Mars, and is part of the Mars 2117 Strategy, launched during the fifth World Government Summit, which seeks to build the first settlement on Mars in the next 100 years.
This project will include advanced laboratories that stimulate the red planet’s terrain and harsh environment through advanced 3D printing technology and heat and radiation insulation. It seeks to attract the best scientific minds from around the world in a collaborative contribution in the UAE to human development and the improvement of life. It also seeks to address global challenges such as food, water and energy security on earth.
The plan for the Mars Science City project include an experiential element which will involve a team living in the stimulated red planet city for one year. It is hoped the experience will form an important reference model for future innovation around sustaining life in a hostile planetary environment. A range of experiments are to be devised which will lead to innovation around self-sufficiency in energy, water and food.
The city will consist of several domes, with innovative construction techniques providing support for the structures. A team of Emirati scientists, engineers and designers, led by a team from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and Dubai Municipality, will carry out the project, in cooperation with architect Bjarke Ingels.