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UAE Islamic affairs authority warns Muslims against a mission to Mars


Jaimito

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Oh the irony...

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- The Oscar-nominated film "Gravity" traces the harrowing tale of astronaut Ryan Stone after a mission goes horribly wrong. She's lost in space and struggles to try to make her way back to Earth.

"Gravity" is just a film. Imagine a similar real-life scenario: Would there be any chance of survival?

That's a concern for the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, or GAIAE, the United Arab Emirates' religious watchdog, for anyone who wishes to travel to Mars. The GAIAE has issued a fatwa, or an official Islamic ruling, to warn Muslims against a Mars mission.

So far, the UAE has supported space travel. Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments teamed up with Richard Branson's Virgin group to create Virgin Galactic to provide spaceflights for tourists, starting this year. But a mission to Mars, it seems, is one step too far.

The mission is being planned by the Dutch nonprofit foundation Mars One. In April 2013, it announced its ambitions to establish a human settlement on the Red Planet by 2024.

But the GAIAE likens the journey to a suicide mission. On the authority's free 24-hour hotline, the issue was deliberated by the center's specialized muftis, or scholars, who issued the following statement: "It is not permissible to travel to Mars and never to return if there is no life on Mars. The chances of dying are higher than living."

Taking one's life willingly is against Islamic principles.

In response, Mars One issued a statement asking the UAE's Islamic authorities to cancel the fatwa, saying every precaution would be taken to reduce the risk to life. "If we may be so bold: the GAIAE should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today," the statement says. "The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Only when that outpost is established will human lives be risked in Mars One's plan."

The statement includes a verse from the Quran that "encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God's creation in the 'heavens and the earth.' " It goes on to say the first Martian settlers would walk in the footsteps of great Muslim explorers like Ibn Battuta, the 14th century Moroccan journeyman whose travels took him across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Indeed, space travel isn't alien to Muslim culture. There have been Muslim space explorers in the past.

The first ever Muslim space tourist was Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, when he joined the crew of American space shuttle Discovery in 1985. In 2006, Anousheh Ansari became the first Iranian-born woman in space. And to help Muslims observe religious obligations in space, the Malaysian government has been instrumental in setting up guidelines.

In 2006, Malaysia's national space agency Angkasa convened a conference of Islamic scientists and scholars to address the religious obligations of Muslim astronauts. The result was a detailed set of rules called "A Guideline of Performing Ibadah (worship) at the International Space Station (ISS)." It tackles a number of issues, like the number of times a Muslim should observe daily prayers, when a day lasts just 90 minutes in orbit.

Mars One says 1,058 candidates have been shortlisted for the mission, from pool of more than 200,000 applicants around the world. It's not clear how many Muslims are among the candidates, but Mars One says applications came from 107 countries.

Since its inception in 2008, the GAIAE has released nearly 2 million fatwas. The fatwa on the Mars mission is now among them.

http://www.cnn.com/2....html?hpt=hp_t2

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To be honest with you those people who are apparently going to Mars are all going to die likely long before they even reach Mars. The technology to get there safely just doesn't exist and its not going to exist in the next 10 years even if we put our full attention towards going to Mars it would take 2-3 decades to be able to do it safely and even that is a stretch.

All of Nasa's projects are behind schedule they don't even have a shuttle to get their astronauts into space; The Webb telescope is way behind schedule as well. These are things that really are not that difficult to build when you compare it to what needs to be built and invented in order to get to Mars and arrive alive.

The way things are going now I wouldn't expect to see any Mars missions for the next 40-50 years.

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Just like to point out the incredible hypocrisy of this.

Taking ones own life willingly is against Islamic principals.

Kill yourself via suicide bombing and take the "infidel" with you get 70+ virgins and an eternity in paradise.

Make up your frigging mind....gods organized religion truly is for the weak minded

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Just like to point out the incredible hypocrisy of this.

Taking ones own life willingly is against Islamic principals.

Kill yourself via suicide bombing and take the "infidel" with you get 70+ virgins and an eternity in paradise.

Make up your frigging mind....gods organized religion truly is for the weak minded

It's not hypocrisy if it's two different groups saying the contradictory statements

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It's not hypocrisy if it's two different groups saying the contradictory statements

Islamic teaching. radical islamists. yes two different groups. Same religion just different ideals and one more radical than the other. No different than snake handling Christians or the like.
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To be honest with you those people who are apparently going to Mars are all going to die likely long before they even reach Mars. The technology to get there safely just doesn't exist and its not going to exist in the next 10 years even if we put our full attention towards going to Mars it would take 2-3 decades to be able to do it safely and even that is a stretch.

All of Nasa's projects are behind schedule they don't even have a shuttle to get their astronauts into space; The Webb telescope is way behind schedule as well. These are things that really are not that difficult to build when you compare it to what needs to be built and invented in order to get to Mars and arrive alive.

The way things are going now I wouldn't expect to see any Mars missions for the next 40-50 years.

Your time frame is based on what? What does the shuttle have to do with anything? It was only a low earth orbit craft designed 30 years ago. It would have no real use in even getting gear into orbit as there are far more efficient ways available to do that. The upcoming Space Launch Vehicle being developed by NASA will be able to lift 130 metric tonne payloads into high earth orbit or travel to the moon and even Mars with or without crew aboard. It will be the most capable heavy lift vehicle ever made. The first flight tests are set for 2017. It will have the ways and means of delivering habitat and equipment to Mars before the first astronauts and then the astronauts themselves. 40 to 50 years..Really?

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Your time frame is based on what? What does the shuttle have to do with anything? It was only a low earth orbit craft designed 30 years ago. It would have no real use in even getting gear into orbit as there are far more efficient ways available to do that. The upcoming Space Launch Vehicle being developed by NASA will be able to lift 130 metric tonne payloads into high earth orbit or travel to the moon and even Mars with or without crew aboard. It will be the most capable heavy lift vehicle ever made. The first flight tests are set for 2017. It will have the ways and means of delivering habitat and equipment to Mars before the first astronauts and then the astronauts themselves. 40 to 50 years..Really?

I was pointing out that Nasa has a knack for saying and setting deadlines, and budgets, and they are just totally wrong. Because of this Nasa has had huge budget cuts and really is even further behind schedule on all these new space shuttles, telescopes, engines etc.

Now if you want me to point on the reasons why its not possible to make it to Mars and have a good survival rate then okay I will.

The biggest problem why we can't go to Mars is radiation when you go into space you are no longer protected, by the Earth's magnetic field, from copious amounts of radiation from the Sun or other stars are constantly emitting. So if you just sent a space shuttle full of people to Mars they would be dead from radiation poisoning long before they ever arrived. How is this remedied? We need to create some sort of magnetic force field, similar to what the earth has, to block the radiation from the sun. If it was easy to do we would have already created it.

When Astronauts are in space and there is a solar storm they are sent into a lead cased room with like lead blankets just so they don't die and this is still them being partially protected by the earths magnetic field.

You need shields for more than radiation too little pieces of dust travelling thousands of km's per second can easily destroy a shuttle.

Then there is gravity which doesn't exist in space so we need to create artificial gravity lots of theories out there how it can be done but until its been created and works means absolutely nothing. If you don't have gravity your muscles are just going to slowly deteriorate into nothing.

There are simpler things like growing your own food because you won't be able to bring enough food with you in order to survive in space for long periods of time. How will radiation effect the growth of food what happens if the food doesn't grow etc etc etc

Space travel is not easy everything wants to kill you. This isn't like early explorers where they went off on there ships to discover new lands this is like if you go travel in space you are going to die.

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Should just ship the Muslims and their eleventy billion fatwas off to Mars anyways.

And the christians and their 11ty billion child molesting priests and their 22 billion reasons why it's ok. And the catholics and their 30 billion reasons why everyone else is a heathen

Good plan, less organized religion less arguments

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I was pointing out that Nasa has a knack for saying and setting deadlines, and budgets, and they are just totally wrong. Because of this Nasa has had huge budget cuts and really is even further behind schedule on all these new space shuttles, telescopes, engines etc.

Now if you want me to point on the reasons why its not possible to make it to Mars and have a good survival rate then okay I will.

The biggest problem why we can't go to Mars is radiation when you go into space you are no longer protected, by the Earth's magnetic field, from copious amounts of radiation from the Sun or other stars are constantly emitting. So if you just sent a space shuttle full of people to Mars they would be dead from radiation poisoning long before they ever arrived. How is this remedied? We need to create some sort of magnetic force field, similar to what the earth has, to block the radiation from the sun. If it was easy to do we would have already created it.

When Astronauts are in space and there is a solar storm they are sent into a lead cased room with like lead blankets just so they don't die and this is still them being partially protected by the earths magnetic field.

You need shields for more than radiation too little pieces of dust travelling thousands of km's per second can easily destroy a shuttle.

Then there is gravity which doesn't exist in space so we need to create artificial gravity lots of theories out there how it can be done but until its been created and works means absolutely nothing. If you don't have gravity your muscles are just going to slowly deteriorate into nothing.

There are simpler things like growing your own food because you won't be able to bring enough food with you in order to survive in space for long periods of time. How will radiation effect the growth of food what happens if the food doesn't grow etc etc etc

Space travel is not easy everything wants to kill you. This isn't like early explorers where they went off on there ships to discover new lands this is like if you go travel in space you are going to die.

Mars-Bound Astronauts Could Face Higher Risk of Cancer

by Miriam Kramer, SPACE.com Staff Writer | May 30, 2013 02:01pm ET

Astronauts who travel to Mars one day could be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation during their trip, even if shielding techniques are used, a new study shows.

When the Mars Science Laboratory launched on Nov. 26, 2011, it began a 350-million-mile (560 million kilometers) trip to the surface of the Red Planet. During its voyage, a group of researchers, including Southwest Research Institute scientist Cary Zeitlin, monitored exactly how much radiation a piece of science hardware on the Mars rover Curiosity was exposed to over the 253-day journey from Earth to Mars.

"In space, it's between a 100 and 1,000 times higher dose rate [of radiation] than on Earth," Zeitlin told SPACE.com. "It's highly uncertain what the health risk is from these exposures."

Zeitlin, whose study is detailed in the journal Science this week, collected the data with his team by turning on the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) instrument while Curiosity was in flight. The instrument was active from 10 days after launch until about three weeks before landing.

Shielding from cosmic rays

By monitoring the variety and strength of each of the energetic particles entering the Mars Science Laboratory's hull, Zeitlin and his team were able to accurately track which particles of radiation got through and which were blocked by the ship's shielding.

If they were to travel to Mars, astronauts would be exposed to two forms of cosmic radiation that don't pose a serious risk on Earth. One of those sources of radiation — galactic cosmic rays — are difficult to shield against and regularly fly through space-faring vessels. On the other hand, the second source of radiation — solar energetic particles — can be at least partially blocked by robust shielding used to protect spaceflyers.

"The rover itself during the trip was surrounded by the equipment used for the entry, descent and landing," Zeitlin said. "RAD was very unevenly shielded. About half was lightly shielded. The heat shield below didn't really provide very much in the way of shielding. But above, there was quite a bit, and on a human inhabited vehicle, you would want it much more uniform."

Worth the risk?

The research could have implications for future NASA missions to Mars. If space agency scientists expect that radiation exposure over the course of a mission will increase an astronaut's risk of developing fatal cancer over his or her lifetime by at least 3 percent, NASA deems the mission too dangerous, Zeitlin said.

Certain people are at higher risk of developing these kinds of radiation-induced cancers: Young women are most at risk, while older men are in less danger. Even with the margin of error built into Curiosity's new results, however, the dose rate of the radiation that any astronaut would receive during the initial and return flights would probably put them over the 3 percent limit, Zeitlin said. [Missions to Mars: Human Occupation of the Red Planet (Infographic)]

Zeitlin and his colleagues estimate that astronauts would be exposed to about 0.66 Sievert (Sv) — the unit scientists use for measuring radiation — of galactic cosmic ray radiation during the round-trip to Mars, not including their time spent on the surface of the Red Planet. About 1 Sv of radiation exposure is usually associated with about a 5 percent bump in fatal-cancer risk later in life.

The dose rate of radiation that the planetary explorers would be exposed to on the surface of Mars would be lower than the amount of cosmic radiation in space. However, it could still be significant, Zeitlin said.

Although this level of radiation might not make astronauts immediately ill, it still could impair their ability to conduct research from Mars. "There is some concern that there could be damage to cognitive ability that would manifest itself in the short run," Zeitlin said.

Future of space travel

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are exposed to both galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles during their six months in orbit, but an astronaut flying to Mars would get a higher dose over a longer period of time.

"Scientists need to validate theories and models with actual measurements, which RAD is now providing. These measurements will be used to better understand how radiation travels through deep space and how it is affected and changed by the spacecraft structure itself," Donald Hassler, a program director at the Southwest Research Institute and principal investigator of the RAD investigation, said in a statement. "The spacecraft protects somewhat against lower-energy particles, but others can propagate through the structure unchanged or break down into secondary particles."

The new findings will allow scientists to use hard data in computer models set up to investigate just how much radiation astronauts could encounter on their journey to another planet. This kind of research could be particularly important for NASA in the coming years, as officials from the space agency gear up to possibly send humans to Mars by the 2030s.

Scientists from the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel in Germany, the German Aerospace Center and NASA also contributed to the new study.

I see words like could , maybe and a 3-5 % bump in the chance of getting cancer later in life. While a lot more research needs to be done i believe that the radiation from cosmic rays is one of the smaller problems astronauts face in space travel.

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The biggest problem why we can't go to Mars is radiation when you go into space you are no longer protected, by the Earth's magnetic field, from copious amounts of radiation from the Sun or other stars are constantly emitting. So if you just sent a space shuttle full of people to Mars they would be dead from radiation poisoning long before they ever arrived.

The current estimates are that on a round trip from Earth to Mars and back (aprox 360 days), with very little time on the planet itself the radiation dosage would result in a 5% chance of fatal cancer later in life. Far from being dead from radiation poisoning during the journey. Supplying 3 astronauts with enough food and water for the trip will be one of the easier parts requiring no growing of food along the way. The weightlessness for that long a period of time is a bigger problem. When astronauts arrive back from long stays on the ISS they are unable to walk and need extensive rehabilitation. The equipment for this will arrive on Mars along with their habitat and other gear long before the astronauts do and will require a fair bit of downtime for recovery. There are a host of other issues and technological advancements are needed before we go but it is all workable in the next 20 or so years.

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From the OPs article:

Taking one's life willingly is against Islamic principles.

So what are all those suicide bombers doing exactly?

Didn't know all Muslims are suicide bombers just like how all Christians are pedophiles. Ahhh...generalization is so easy.

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Been a while but I'll chime in

http://muslimmatters...aky-fatwa-news/

Professor Dr. Who?

Dr. Farouk Al Hamada is real person. In fact, he's even really in the UAE. He is a published author, and according to his personal website, he is currently “an adviser at the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, Emirates.” His website was last updated on Jan 8, 2012.

He is not, however, the Grand Mufti of the UAE, let alone all of Saudi Arabia as some of the headlines claim. A quick Google search shows that there doesn't seem to be a Grand Mufti of the UAE, but there is a Grand Mufti of Dubai. His name is Dr. Ahmad Al Haddad; in July of 2013, he made the news with some very sage advice, “Be careful about fatwas on twitter.”

What Dr Farooq Hamada said was:

  • Taking an unnecessary risk with your life is not allowed in Islam
  • A one-way ticket to Mars means you'll probably die
  • If you do go and die, you may be held accountable for killing yourself for no good reason

What Dr. Farooq Hamada didn't say was:

  • Travel to Mars (versus Jupiter) is not allowed
  • Flying to Mars (versus walking) is not forbidden
  • Colonizing Mars (versus visiting) is not allowed
  • Housing on Mars (versus education?) is haram
  • Living on Mars is sinful
  • Even wanting to live on Mars is sinful
  • Muslims traveling to Mars will suffer punishment

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From the OPs article:

Taking one's life willingly is against Islamic principles.

So what are all those suicide bombers doing exactly?

Didn't know all Muslims are suicide bombers just like how all Christians are pedophiles. Ahhh...generalization is so easy.

You have some major malfunction if that's what you read in the above post. The subject is "suicide bombers" not "all Muslims" ya dingus.

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