Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has announced the launch of a new space mission to explore Venus and seven asteroids.

The latest mission is part of a series of missions that fall under the Projects of the 50.

“As part of its Projects of the 50, the Emirates launched today a new space mission to explore the Asteroid Belt in our solar system. The 3.6 billion km journey will fly-by Venus and seven asteroids, landing on the last asteroid - the most ambitious space mission from our region,” Sheikh Mohammed said in his Twitter page.

“Our exploration of space is only beginning: more missions are on the way. We will continue investing in building our space science, engineering, astronauts, and spacecraft. Big number of the stars in our night sky are named in Arabic - once again the Arabs can look to the stars,” he tweeted.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that the UAE is determined to make a meaningful contribution to space exploration.

“The launch of a new project to explore Venus and the asteroid belt sets an ambitious new goal for our country’s burgeoning space programme. The UAE is determined to make a meaningful contribution to space exploration, scientific research and our understanding of the solar system,” he tweeted.

The Emirati spacecraft will be designed to remain on its scientific mission for five consecutive years and will undertake a 3.6 billion kilometres journey.

The UAE’s project is the fourth in the world to explore Venus and the asteroid belt and will carry out the fourth global landing on an asteroid 560 million kilometers from Earth in the solar system.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz) 

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