Crowdsourcing is trendy, innovating in industries as disparate as music and finance. And now it seems that Emirates government is turning to this tactic to raise excitement and build awareness for their latest space project, Mars Probe.
The United Arab Emirates plans to send a probe to Mars, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, announced his desire for all Arab youth to help name the satellite. The results? Surprisingly tasteful.
Sheikh Mohammad first announced last year that the UAE would send the probe by 2021.
“The UAE Mars probe is an Arab-Islamic project and so we want all Arab youth to be involved in it. We want to open for them the doors of hope and optimism, we want their ambition to reach and embrace the sky,” Sheikh Mohammad tweeted .
The sheikh also tweeted, “My brothers and sisters, we started today with God’s grace the launch of the first Arab-Islamic and probe to discover planet Mars. It is going to be the first steps for Arabs in entering the age of space."
Arab tweeters and Dubai residents have already started responding with suggestions.
Some were serious:
Others, not so:
And of course, some were political:
The launch of the Mars probe is set to happen during the UAE's 50th anniversary. The probe should take around 9 months to travel the 92 million kilometers between Earth and Mars. If the project goes ahead as planned, the UAE will be the ninth nation to explore our red neighbor,
Already, the UAE's investments in space technology exceed 20 billion dirhams ($5.4 billion) annually. This amount includes satellite data and TV broadcast company, Al Yah Satellite Communications, and mobile satellite communication company, Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications, and earth mapping and observation system, and Dubai Sat.
Mars seems to be the topic dujour of late, as the the Mars One project, scheduled to officially launch in 2025, has finalized its list of 100 potential humans to be sent to live, and die, on our red neighbor. Our bet is that the UAE's Mars probe is far more likely to meet its deadline and make lift-off.