The Mars Science City project has been launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The project is expected to cost AED 500 million, or roughly Rs 890 crore, and will comprise of several domes spread over 1.9 millions square feet.
The Mars Science City is envisioned as a museum as well as a laboratory. The labs will conduct researchers into food, water, energy and agriculture, the results of which will be useful for pioneering missions to Mars, establishing a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet, as well as improve the food, water and energy security for humans living on Earth. The laboratories will have simulations of the harsh terrain and the atmospheric conditions on mars using 3D printing and heat radiation insulation.
Researchers from around the world will be invited to develop new technologies as well as address the challenges of providing food, water and energy to everyone on Earth. A number of experiments have already been devised, including one that involves a team living in the simulated Martian environment for a year.
The museum will showcase the most historic achievements in space, and is meant to inspire a passion for discovery, exploration and adventure in young minds. The city will be built by using 3D printing techniques, which uses the abundance of sand found locally as the raw material. According to the Government of Dubai, the Mars Science City project will be the most sophisticated building in the world.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "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. 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. The UAE is a great country with vision and understanding of the challenges we face and the rapid changes our world is experiencing. 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"
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "We have great confidence in our national work teams, and Emirates Mars Mission prove that our youth are trustworthy and capable of achieving national ambitions."
The United Arab Emirates wants to be the first country to build a city on Mars, and intends to do it within the next 100 years. The Mars Science City project will provide the developments needed to support the ambitious mission of establishing a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet.
China is in the process of building a simulation Mars base in the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai province. The base will be established in northwest China, and will act as an educational experience of future settlements on the Red Planet. In late 2016, a demonstration of what the home of a single Martian pioneer could look like went on display in a simulated Martian environment in the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London.