Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Luck To You And The Red Sox...

I wish them well. I really do.

UAE plans first Arab spaceship to Mars in 7 years
The United Arab Emirates, already home to the world's tallest tower, is now reaching for the stars. The energy-rich country on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula announced plans Wednesday to establish a space program to send the first Arab spaceship to Mars in 2021.

The ruler of the UAE's emirate of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the mission will prove the Arab world is still capable of delivering scientific contributions to humanity, despite the many conflicts across the Middle East.
If they approach this the same way they approached the tower - basically, throw dumptrucks full of money at the best and brightest in the engineering world - they just might be able to approximate something resembling a space program. Get to Mars in 7 years? Assuming they mean "launch a rocket capable of reaching Mars in 7 years", that might be possible; actually getting there in 7 is a little tighter, considering the trip itself takes anywhere from 8 - 10 months.

With the US seemingly out of the space business, it's going to fall on other countries or private industry to get Americans back into space. The latter doesn't concern me anywhere near as much as the former. Given how dependent we are on satellite communications, not being able to get crews up launch, repair, and maintain our critical communication infrastructure is rather frightening.

Part of that "fundamental transformation," to be sure...

That is all.


Anonymous said...

Could also get them is some deep doo doo.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Joseph in IL

Geodkyt said...

I suspect they can get an "unmanned space probe" to Mars in 7 years. Most of the tech they need is already open source, if not "off the shelf".

It's not like they actually need anything man-rated, nor do they have to lift 8-10 months worth of life support.

And it's not like they really need to do anymore than Sputnik or Explorer 1. (Or the Mars 1M and Mariner programs, if you prefer.) Just get there, and beam back something that you can plausibly (and with a straight face) call "data".

The launch experience alone would be valuable to any UAE based space program. I don't expect them to be any good at extreme duration systemology anytime soon, but they can certainly reliably get into geostationary orbits with sopme pretty heavy telecom satellites if they can lift a "Science Fair" package to Mars.

Old NFO said...

Until things go 'Inshalla'... Then it will crash...

Anonymous said...

The Emirates will hire the best people available and clone some one else's rocket design, more than likely the ESP Ariane 5.

Only issue is they cloned a Steyr pistol and came up with the Caracal.


PhilaBOR said...

Maybe they can set up an exchange program with Iran. UAE gets their Mars mission and Iran gets vehicles that can deliver a payload ANYWHERE ON EARTH.

Anonymous said...

Those skyscrapers have holding tanks that need to be emptied every day or two.
Yup, the "city of the future" has no sewer system. All the waste has to be truck away.
Those buildings were put up by labor from the Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh ... no male native to the Arabian Peninsula has lifted anything heavier than an AK of suicide vest in years.

Geodkyt said...

NFO -- Yup. I'd be damned if _I'D_ stand anywhere under the launch path, if the UAE is providing the maintenance or inspection teams, that's for damned sure.

Sorry, worked with Arabs before. It is a very deep seated cultural thing that is almost impossible to shake -- sort of like convincing Americans that grilled cockroaches are tasty and healthy. (And, yes, that's true, and they ARE eaten elsewhere. But I, for one will friggin' shank you if you even tried to get me to eat one. {grin} )

Jim said...

I'm quoting Col. Jerry, commentor at the vaunted SondraK blog.

"Mars is a long way to fly on a fucking rug!"

Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — July 16, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

That right there sure kicked my giggle box!

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Daniel in Brookline said...

PhilaBOR's got the right idea. Back when Saddam Hussein was threatening to "incinerate half of Israel" with his SCUD missiles, Israel surprised everybody by launching the first of several successful orbital satellites. The unstated message was crystal-clear to everyone who needed to know -- "Yes, we launch our satellites on missiles... and no, we don't HAVE to aim them straight up if we don't want to".

Wandering Neurons said...

Part of NASA's Muslim Outreach program?