February 2014: “”Gravity” is just a film. Imagine a similar real-life scenario: Would there be any chance of survival? That’s a concern for the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, or GAIAE, the United Arab Emirates’ religious watchdog, for anyone who wishes to travel to Mars. The GAIAE has issued a fatwa, or an official Islamic ruling, to warn Muslims against a Mars mission…………”
July 2014: “To date, there have been 41 past missions to the red planet, many of them from established space agencies, and only 16 have been a total success. To ensure that the UAE’s mission achieves its goal, the country’s newly established space agency will have to draw upon the lessons of previous attempts, as well as coordinate closely with international parties to ensure there is no room for failure. “The majority of things we’ve sent to Mars have failed,” said commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who was in the Emirates last week to meet officials from the country’s nascent space agency…………….”
Why not? There are rumors that the Bin Zayed Al-Nahayn Brothers who own Abu Dhabi and rule the UAE are planning a vacation getaway for the family on the Red Planet. Just rumors. Some people I know claim, rather hopefully, that the brothers may be planning to emigrate to Mars. Some would have preferred for them to opt for one of the Jovian planets like Jupiter or Uranus. Oh well……
So what have we here? A United Arab Emirates of Disneyland. A continuation into outer space of a trend toward phony culture and science (and politics). Fake Sorbonne. Fake New York University. Fake MIT. All the curricula ‘adjusted’ and watered down to account for ‘local culture’: you figure out what that means. Fake Louvre. Fake Vatican and Fake Kaaba (stay tuned)? Fake Army (imported veteran mercenaries). Fake population (7 million temporary foreigners out of a total population of 8 million). But not all of it is entertaining.
And now? The ultimate in scientific fakery: a fake Mission to Mars. No research and no technological advancement needed, all bought and paid for. It is like when you buy a Boeing airplane: you own the airplane, but you do not acquire the technology (well, you learn how to fly the jet and flush the toilet).
Now what is there they can get that NASA (and maybe others) have not got? Unless they plan to rename a mountain or a famous waterway on Mars after the UAE rulers.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum