A $545,000 (AED2m) seed grant fund was recently launched by UAE in efforts to support new and international projects into space settlement and habitation. The project will be established the Dubai Future Foundation and is called the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Settlement Challenge. It aims to develop new business models for living and working in space.
The Challenge will run for about a month and will use scientific collaboration platform Guaana. Guaana is meant to reduce time and effort required to fund seed ideas.
UAE is launching many new projects in order for it to stay at par with the global space race. One such project focuses on establishing the first city on Mars, according to the 2117 Mars Project.
The Competition will be the first project of the Mohammed Bin Rashed Centre for Accelerated Research. It reportedly is made up of three categories, revolving around space settlement, Terraforming and Space Ecology and lastly Economics, Business Model & Governance.
Research into Space Settlement aims to find and develop locations in space that could support a sustainable settlement and accommodate at least 100 people. On the other hand, Terraforming & Space Ecology looks into creating livable and long-term environments near the Moon, Mars, asteroids and other orbital habitats.
Finally, Economics, Business Model & Governance, seek to cultivate business plans for economics and identify private-sector partners interested in conducting commercial activities in space.
Dubai Future Foundation CEO Khalfan Belhoul commented saying, “Space research is the logical next step in humanity’s search for knowledge and survival, and an advanced means to preserve human cultures, societies and economies. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Settlement Challenge we are launching today is designed to provide support for creative minds, unconventional ideas, innovative designs and research.”
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