The UAE is pretty serious about its mission to space. Proof of that is the fact that the country's flag has already made it to the other side.

The nation's flag flew into space on a recent test flight of Virgin Galactic, was brought back, and has now been given as a gift to Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Emirati flag was handed over to the crown prince by none other than Virgin Galactic's founder Sir Richard Branson.

Branson said the "gift is a tribute to the role played by the United Arab Emirates and its vision and approach to the space sciences," according to Arabian Business.

Source: Flickr

Virgin Galactic, part of Virgin Group, aims to become the first company to have commercial spacecrafts, including human spaceflights. 

In December 2018, the company achieved a long-awaited milestone when its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle launched to the edge of space. In doing so, it became the first U.S. commercial human flight to reach space since the country's shuttle program ended in 2011.

The UAE's commitment to space mission

In 2014, the country officially established a Space Agency, setting an ambitious goal of launching a probe to Mars. 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stated that the country plans to send the first Arab spaceship to Mars by 2021. In 2016, the Gulf state and NASA signed a deal to work together to reach the Red Planet.

By 2117, the country would like to have established the first inhabitable human settlement on Mars.