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A Wealthy Arab Country Is Creating Its Own Space Agency

"Seeking to confirm its status as a spacefaring nation."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai takes part in a ceremony to unveil UAE's Mars Mission on May 6, 2015 in Dubai. The UAE Mars Mission aims to provide a global picture of the Martian atmosphere through a probe named Al Amal to be launched in July 2020 to reach Mars in 2021, according to the engineers involved in the project. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has laid out a strategic framework for a newly created space agency that aims to integrate various arms of the Gulf federation's burgeoning space industry.

United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum takes part in a ceremony to unveil UAE's Mars Mission, May 6, 2015 in Dubai. The UAE laid out a strategic framework for its newly created space agency Monday. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

UAE Space Agency chairman Khalifa Mohammed Thani al-Rumaithi said at an event rolling out the agency in the capital, Abu Dhabi, on Monday that the space industry will help diversify the country's economy and create highly skilled jobs for a growing youth population.

A stylized nighttime rendering of the Persian Gulf, with the United Arab Emirates brightly lit in the lower center-right. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

He added that the Emirates "is seeking to confirm its status as a spacefaring nation."

United Arab Emirates officials, engineers and scientists take part in a ceremony to unveil UAE's Mars Mission, May 6, 2015 in Dubai. (Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

The agency aims to regulate and support the UAE space sector, which includes existing Earth-orbiting satellite programs and plans to send an orbital probe to Mars in 2020.

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