The project, to be named “Mars 2117”, integrates a vision to create a mini-city and community on Mars involving international cooperation. pic.twitter.com/v27jA3K3pS
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017
Let’s see, SpaceX’s Elon Musk has announced plans to transport 1 million people on Mars within the next 40 to 100 years. However, he lacks the money to actually achieve that goal. NASA’s funding is tight, and the agency has no plans for Mars anywhere near as ambitious as Musk’s colony.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates has tons of money and has just announced its own plans to colonize the Red Planet within a century.
Announcing the plan at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, described Mars 2117 as an ongoing UAE effort to develop scientific knowledge until Mars colonisation is possible, with the help of international partners.
“The new project is a seed that we plant today, and we expect future generations to reap the benefits, driven by its passion to learn to unveil a new knowledge,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
“The landing of people on other planets has been a longtime dream for humans. Our aim is that the UAE will spearhead international efforts to make this dream a reality.”
“The city is roughly the size of Chicago. It has a population of 600,000,” the manager of the scientific and research committee at the World Government Summit, Saeed Al Gergawi, told CNBC.
“We came up with that number because it’s like someone going to an exotic island. Not everyone can go first, then we get advancement of rocket tech, which makes people move there easily, then the advancement of oxygen tech to make it more Earth-like, which would incentivise people.”
Could there be synergy between these plans? Could the UAE’s plan move the needle on Mars? Could this be the tipping point? And what is this big SpaceX announcement planned for Monday at 1 pm PST?
Stay tuned. Things could be about to get interesting. Anything could happen. And it probably will.