Nov 19, 2017

Green planet

Now the UAE has a new aim - to become a centre for space agriculture and the promotion of research into how food might be grown on Mars. Even before a UAE Mars probe leaves the ground in 2020 from Japan - UAE is working in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - the Gulf state has now announced space agriculture intentions. "There are similarities between Mars and the desert," says Rashid Al Zaabi, senior strategic planner at the UAE Space Agency. Working with collaborators internationally, researchers hope to build on research already done on space agriculture involving plants such as lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes - three foods already shown to have thrived when grown in space. The UAE has invested more than $5.4bn in its space sector, including satellites.

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