A new frontier: UAE and Philippines could team up in space sector

UAE Space Agency and Philippines envoy hold talks on collaboration

In this handout photograph taken and released on July 20, 2020 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries an H-2A rocket carrying the Hope Probe known as "Al-Amal" in Arabic, developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore Mars, blasts off from Tanegashima Space Centre in southwestern Japan. The first Arab space mission to Mars blasted off on July 20 aboard a rocket from Japan, with the probe dubbed "Hope" successfully separating about an hour after liftoff. - --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / (MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ---
 / AFP / Mitsubishi Heavy Industries / Handout / --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / (MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES)" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ---

The UAE and the Philippines are exploring collaboration in the space sector, state news agency Wam reported.

Officials from the UAE Space Agency met the Philippines' ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn Quintana, along with a delegation from the country's space authority on Sunday to consider areas of co-operation.

Both nations have ambitious national road maps for space exploration.

Developing a space sector can help to create highly skilled local talent, build industries and grow a knowledge-based economy.

"Space sector collaborations are essential for both the UAE and the Philippines," said Ibrahim Al Qasim, space science adviser at the UAE Space Agency.

"As our two countries accelerate the growth and increase investments into this exciting yet nascent industry, there will be many opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge and ideas as we work together to create new avenues for space-based innovation."

Ms Quintana said teaming up in the flourishing space sector would be an appropriate way to mark the 47-year bilateral relationship between the countries.

"What better way to commemorate the 47th anniversary of our important diplomatic relations than by bringing together our space agencies to meet, share knowledge and expertise and discover what we can achieve together," said Ms Quintana.

"I consider it a distinct honour to be a part of this historic inaugural meeting to chart a new frontier in our strategic partnership, which, like space, is of limitless possibilities."

It comes as the UAE's space programme is advancing. The Arab world’s first lunar rover, Rashid, is set to land on the Moon in 2022.

The lunar project follows the UAE's ambitious Hope mission, in which the Emirates became the first Arab country to send a probe to Mars.

Hope started orbiting Mars in February and is conducting crucial experiments on the Red Planet.

The UAE also has 12 satellites in orbit, with another six in development.

The Philippines is also building a space programme. Authorities unified the country's space agency in 2019 and it has several satellites in orbit.

Updated: August 23rd 2021, 6:11 AM
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