The United Arab Emirates project, which aims to collect data on the origins of the universe, will launch in 2028.

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced plans to send a probe to land on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter to collect data on the origins of the universe, the latest project in the oil-rich federation’s ambitious space programme.

A successful landing would see the UAE join an elite club of the European Union, Japan and the United States, which have completed the feat. The probe would remain behind on the asteroid, transmitting back to Earth information on the composition of the asteroid as long as its batteries remain charged.

The project targets a 2028 launch with a landing in 2033, a five-year journey in

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