Looking Back, From A Million Miles Up Above The Night Sky… All Crafts (US / Russia / China / Japan / EU / India / UAE) See The Same Tiny Blue Marble…

The United Arab Emirates just successfully blasted off-world, headed to Mars — with their “Hope” robotic orbiter — for the first time in their storied history. Kudos, to the applied brain-power it takes, to achieve such a feat. Well-done! [We sorely need to get off-world this morning, and see our pale blue dot. . . with fresh eyes.]

As the New York Times reported on Sunday, the project is led by a Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri — STEM on fleek, indeed (imaged at right). [And as an editorial side note, since I used Google Translate exclusively, to generate all the Arabic characters in my graphic at right — please forgive any errors / awkward grammatical renderings — as I do not speak that language, at all. No disrespect intended.]

That said, I am particularly proud that my alma mater, and its fine space sciences faculty, provided aid, guidance and insight to the Arab world — in lobbing this spacecraft into the void — now headed toward an early 2021 arrival at the Red Planet. Here’s a bit — but do go read it all:

. . . .The project was developed in collaboration with the University of Colorado at Boulder. . . . “We’ve had to develop in leaps and bounds and learn from the experiences of others. We didn’t have the luxury of going through trial and error,” Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri said. “If we wanted to build our indigenous capabilities, we needed at least 10 years, but that doesn’t feed into the need to diversify our economy prior to. . . the demand for oil and for energy declining. . . .”

Omran Sharaf, engineering lead for the Hope spacecraft, admitted that the project was “risky,” but said that the UAE knew that going into the endeavor and accepted the risks. “For the Emirates, it’s more about the journey,” Sharaf said during the same news conference. . . .

We all, down here on the ground, would do well to remember that from where the spacecraft now whirs away from us, and from where the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover mission will view us, in about 12 days, we all look the same.

We all live on a fragile, tiny little blue dot of a life-raft, in the endless inky black nothingness of space. We are all brothers and sisters, in this together, Mr. Trump. You might start acting like it. For my part — I intend to be excellent, to all of good will I encounter, here below. Onward.


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