The Race to Space Book Review

“Standing in the UAE’s deep desert at night, far from sources of light pollution like the cities, you can look up at the clear sky and see the wonder of the stars in their infinite heaven. That carpet of tiny lights is the same sight that would have met the anatomically modern humans as they left Africa, crossed the then-shallow waterway we know as the Red Sea and made their way to populate the world.”

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The Race to Space: The Story Behind the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, the Home of the UAE National Space Programme, a book by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and published by Motivate Books was memorably launched at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2019 by UAE astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansoori and Sultan Al Neyadi during their first public appearance after their selection for the UAE astronaut programme. 

Chronicling the UAE’s space aspiration and its realization, this book is a comprehensive history of the fascination of the UAE as well as the Arab World with space exploration. The Race to Space skillfully takes the readers on a riveting journey which spans centuries and seamlessly blends together the past, present and future, opening with a reflection on the works of the ancient astronomers and then proceeding to the modern day achievements in space science and travel and closing with a chapter very aptly titled "The Unwritten Chapter”.

UAE is a country which has innovation and forward thinking weaved into its DNA, and this wonderful book captures this spirit beautifully. We get a detailed description of the establishment of the UAE Space Agency and the MBRSC and how the country is taking rapid strides towards becoming the global hub for space science studies. From the launch of the first ever UAE satellite, Khalifa Satellite, the UAE astronaut programme, the Hope Probe and the ambition to establish the first inhabitable human settlement in Mars by the year 2117, the book covers it all. 

The Race to Space is a testimony to the UAE's endless ambition, and for the UAE, the sky has never been the limit – space beckons and the nation is ready to answer that call. The massive and quiet outer space holds the answers to many of the challenges humanity is facing right now. The dynamic leadership of the UAE comprehends this completely and hence space exploration is gaining momentum rapidly.

Whether you are a dedicated space enthusiast or someone who wishes to learn more about space and UAE's aspirations, endeavours and inspiring achievements, this is a book that will give you an impressive insight as well as ignite the wish to know more about the quiet, expansive and powerful space.   


Mishal Faraz 

13 years old 
Year 9 student at The Winchester School, Jebel Ali