It’s a pretty pretty city, too.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Monday its strategic framework for a newly established space agency, and also the first academic space program in the federation. The Space Research Center will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, as will be a graduate degree program in Advanced Space Science at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and Orbital ATK Inc. What’s the federation’s end game, though? Last year, UAE announced it will launch an orbiting probe around Mars in 2020. Is it all about scientific missions or, like Dubai’s towering skyscrapers, merely a show of force, of grandeur? Apparently, it’s part science, part showoff, part money. It’s hard to tell at this point which weighed more when UAE first considered its new space agency and subsequent missions.