Great post, TiltAgain (Used to be Tilt). The new space race is finally gaining some traction. Also this year, all the competitors for Google's Lunar XPrize have to launch before Dec. 31st, get a craft on the planet, have it move about and send back imagery. Lots to look forward to!
The United Arab Emirates wants to establish the first “inhabitable human settlement” on planet Mars by 2117. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said his country will spearhead the “dream” of landing people on other planets.
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A team of Emirati engineers have a plan to construct a city on Mars — built by robots. The UAE’s Mars 20117 Project will work to accelerate research in space science that could make such a settlement possible. The Emiratis said they will work with an international scientific consortium to collaborate on efforts to put humans on Mars, the fourth planet from the sun.
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he project will also seek to “develop faster means of transportation” between earth and Mars, and will examine how inhabitants of Mars will obtain food and energy.
The UAE previously announced a project aimed at sending the Arab world’s first spacecraft to Mars, to land on the planet in 2021. The planet measures just 15 percent of the Earth’s volume and experiences the solar system’s largest dust storms.
The Emiratis said the Mars project was designed to “serve humanity” and did not specify a budget fot it.
Following up on TiltAgain's post above, here's a video of ISRO's satellite deployment.
India ain't no slouch in the space department, among its successes are the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe and the Mangalyaan (Mars Orbiter Misson), a technology demonstration mission that was designed for a six-month trial, but has gone well over three years now with a significant amount of onboard propellant still available. It was also, compared to similar missions to Mars, ridiculously cheap (at $73-million USD).