Issue 3 Feb - Apr
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Give us some space

Certainly when people around the world think of technology innovations in the Middle East, they think of energy production. But space exploration is rapidly climbing on the list of the region’s scientific accomplishments.

The Emirates in 2014 established the UAE Space Agency, and in less than a decade sent a probe to Mars and Emiratis Hazza Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi into space. And it has many more projects lined up at the gate.

The UAE has invested U.S.$817 million to support the space sector. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is also putting considerable resources into space research, promising to invest U.S.$2.1 billion in the sector to facilitate collaborations between government and private industry. Also in the region: Kuwait launched its first satellite in 2023; Oman has plans to build spaceport; and Egypt created a government agency to build and launch its own satellites.

Economic development is a key reason these governments are investing in space. But the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and cooperation among the peoples of Earth to extend our reach to the stars fulfills a basic human drive as well.

That’s why in this issue we examine space exploration. Senior science writer Jade Sterling looks at how space may be the final frontier for the law; editor Suzanne Condie Lambert writes about the 2D materials that might help humans build settlements on other planets; Maggie Kinsella delves into the troubling issue of space junk; and some of the MENA region’s most talented amateur astrophotographers share images of the cosmos for a stunning photo essay.

You’ll also find a special pull-out poster with a timeline of some of the UAE’s past achievements in space and projects still to come.

Find these stories and more here, on our website ( and through our social media channels @KUSTReview.

And as always, we invite you to be informed and stay curious.

Arif Sultan Al Hammadi

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