Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) Reaches Crucial Design Phase Milestone

The Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) team has conducted a preliminary design review for the mission and discussed its latest developments.

This is a major milestone for the mission’s production phase as it ensures the mission’s safety and success.

Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of UAE Space Agency, said: “Today, the UAE plays a decisive role in shaping the global space exploration map, by adopting ambitious missions and applying the highest quality and safety standards in its space missions.”

Al Qubaisi added: “The final phase of the mission’s design is more than just a technical step. It reflects our strategic vision and continuous development to support the achievement of the mission’s scientific goals and enhance our position as pioneers in this vital sector.”

Al Qubaisi continued: “We affirm our commitment to advancing and making more achievements that contribute to promoting the scientific progress of humanity and inspiring a new generation of scientists and explorers. We also aim to expand strategic partnerships with scientific and academic institutions locally and globally, to enrich our mission with knowledge and technological resources and increase our chances of success in current and future missions.”

The meetings were attended by the EMA team, UAE Space Agency leadership and employees, strategic and knowledge partners, as well as organisations and institutions from the public and private sector in the UAE.

EMA consists of a six-year spacecraft design and development phase followed by launch and a seven-year mission to the main asteroid belt beyond Mars, performing a series of close flybys to make a series of observations of seven main belt asteroids, and finally landing on Justitia. The MBR Explorer will carry advanced scientific devices that will work together to achieve the mission’s scientific objectives. The mission’s objectives focus on understanding the origins and evolution of water-rich asteroids and evaluating the possibility of using asteroids as resources for future space exploration missions.

The mission will measure the surface composition, geology, interior density, temperatures, and thermophysical properties of multiple asteroids in the main asteroid belt to analyse their surface evolution and history.

Mohsen Al Awadhi, Mission Director – Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt, said: “EMA’s national team includes graduates of the National Space Academy, one of the initiatives of the National Space Fund, which plays a pivotal role in enhancing the sustainability of national space programs and promoting human development.”