A wonderful 50-year throwback was posted on the Twitter account of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, as more details emerged of plans to reach Mars.
A series of Tweets began when HH Sheikh Mohammed posted an image of a postage stamp issued his father, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. The image shows both the remarkable forethought of the Royal Family, as well as the driving ambition that has put the UAE where it is on the world map.
More Tweets followed, in which HH Sheikh Mohammed explained how the UAE now has a space sector worth $20billion.
He then wrote: "A dream starts with an idea expressed in a photo or a stamp, it grows and the dream gets big and with it generations grow to believe in it and realise it."
Officially unveiled more than a year ago, the UAE hope to launch the Hope Probe to Mars in 2021, in line with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates.
According to the official website for the project, the spacecraft will be compact, hexagonal-section and 'built from aluminium in a stiff but lightweight honeycomb structure and surfaced with a strong composite face-sheet. Its overall size and weight are comparable to a small car: it will weigh approximately 1,500kg including fuel, and measure 2.37m wide by 2.90m tall'.
Earlier this year we profiled the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, the hub for the UAE's space aspirations.
Located on Al Warqaa Road, behind Mushrif Park, it is flanked by several large ground-mounted satellite dishes, which have been in operation since it was originally established as the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science & Technology (EIAST) in 2006.
It's first launch was the DubaiSat-1 in 2009, followed by DubaiSat-2 four years later, and then the Nayif-1, a ground-controlled satellite created by seven engineering students from the American University of Sharjah.
The next launch is schedule for 2018. Known as KhalifaSat it will be the most technologically advanced satellite owned by the UAE, providing advanced satellite imaging services for both government and commercial use.
For more information, visit mbrsc.ae