The UAE is building a giant hypothetical Mars Space City in the desert, in hopeful preparation for the real thing.
The United Arab Emirates has announced plans to build a model of hypothetical city on Mars. The city is called Mars Space City (MSC). The plans come alongside the UAE’s announced goal of making the city a reality on Mars in a hundred years’ time, so 2117.
The MSC project, designed by architect Bjarke Ingels, will cost $140 million (about R1,9 billion) and become a “viable and realistic model,” according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The MSC will cover 176 500 square metres, which will make it the largest Mars simulation in existence when complete.
The Mars Space City announcement:
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 26, 2017
There will be numerous scientific operations inside the MSC, according to a government press release. These range from labs researching food, energy and water, to agricultural testing and studies about food security in the future. Parts of the MSC will also be open to the public, including a space museum. The walls of this museum, the press release says, will feature 3D-printed designs using sand from the Emirati desert.
“The UAE seeks to establish international efforts to develop technologies that benefit humankind,” Sheikh Mohammed said, “and that establish the foundation of a better future for more generations to come. We also want to consolidate the passion for leadership in science in the UAE, contributing to improving life on earth and to developing innovative solutions to many of our global challenges.”
No timetable is set for the project. But the giant architectural marvels in the UAE have been heavily criticised for exploitative work practices. Hopefully, this project will have stricter work practices. Especially since the UAE wants it be a jewel of international research and a tribute to humanity’s hopes for a better future.