Technology

Satellite launch sees UAE enter space race with Mars the ultimate goal

The satellite was on board a rocket launched by Japan.

A Japanese rocket carrying the United Arab Emirates’ first locally made satellite has lifted off.

The KhalifaSat Earth observation satellite was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency from its Tanegashima Space Centre.

The H-2A rocket also is carrying an Ibuki-2 greenhouse gas observation satellite for Japan.

New Mars image
The UAE hopes eventually to build a science city on Mars (Nasa/Esa/PA)

The launch is part of the Gulf nation’s ambition under its fledgling space programme.

The country aims to send its first two astronauts to the International Space Station in 2019.

Japan UAE Satellite
Japan’s rocket H-2A is launched (Nozomi Endo/AP)

The UAE also aims to send a probe on its way to Mars in 2020 and to build a science city there by 2117.

Japan also aims to expand its commercial satellite launch services by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and make them globally competitive.

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