The UAE’s Plan to Terraform Mars

The UAE’s Mars 2117 program, announced in 2017, claims humans will have liveable environments, and 60,000-strong colonies, on Mars within the century.

“If we are going to dream about Mars, let’s not have a mediocre dream, let’s dream big, and if we achieve 10 per cent of it, it’s going to be very impressive”, Omar Al Olama, the UAE minister for AI and remote working, told The Independent. “Many futurists, many studies prove that the coming economy is going to be a space economy and it’s a multi-trillion-dollar economy that will give us access to resources … we know that we will have to play in it at one point of time? Why not start now?”

The UAE’s promotional website for the mission is more definite. It envisions that the city will be built by robots, that the first humans will land by 2037, the first settlement completed by 2039, and the first building constructed using only materials from Mars in 2064.

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