UAE Growing Strawberries and Date Palms on Mars to Seed Colonization

Thursday, 16 November 2017 - 1:14PM
Thursday, 16 November 2017 - 1:14PM
UAE Growing Strawberries and Date Palms on Mars to Seed Colonization
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Image credit: YouTube
The UAE won't just land on Mars by 2021—it's going to turn the Red Planet green. 

The United Arab Emirates has Mars on its mind, and among its Martian goals includes growing crops up on the Red Planet.

The UAE Space Agency has declared it's "working on sending the first Arab and Islamic probe to Mars," a mission titled "Hope Probe." It plans to launch a spacecraft in 2020 and land on Mars the following year.

The BBC reports that Rashid Al Zaabi, a senior strategic planner at the UAE Space Agency, has expressed that among the UAE's plans for Mars is the hope of introducing agriculture. "There are similarities between Mars and the desert," said Al Zaabi to the BCC, "The landscape of the UAE, the soil, are similar…when we get there, we'll have to eat."

The UAE is reportedly looking to grow date palms, strawberries, lettuce and tomatoes; Al Zaabi says that those fruits and vegetables gel with established scientific theory as potential Mars growers, while the date palm has symbolic resonance. 

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, tweeted back in February about the "Mars 2117" initiative, a plan to build a Martian community by 2117, a project he explains as "a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge."

The Emirates joins Russia, China, the U.S. and a group of European nations shooting to colonize Mars, and all of which face the same harsh reality—that life on Mars is, well, harsh.

Its atmosphere has been decimated, any water on the planet is locked up in ice at the poles, and the daily temps swing over a range of 170-degrees Fahrenheit. However, the Emirates is not the only country that sees that Mars could be somewhat more inhabitable one day—in fact, an American scientist recently proposed that a device could be placed in space to help deflect some of the nasty solar winds that are currently keeping Mars a wasteland.

The project would in theory allow the Martian atmosphere to thicken, and possibly one day in the future, the fourth planet from the Sun might even be livable.
UAE Seeds Plans to Grow Plants on Mars