ABU DHABI // The UAE Space Agency and the NASA will cooperate on the exploration of outer space after an agreement was signed in the capital on Sunday.
“Since its founding, the UAE Space Agency has been emphasising the importance of cooperating and collaborating with international partners in the fields of space science and the peaceful exploration of outer space,” said Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, the agency’s chairman.
“This agreement opens the door to the creation of a wide range of mutually beneficial programmes and activities involving numerous organisations within the UAE and the US.”
The agreement covers cooperation and collaboration in space science, operational Earth observation and Earth science, aeronautics, space operations and exploration, education, technology, safety and mission assurance.
“We believe that working alongside international partners is the best way to accelerate the development of space technologies and the space sector within the UAE,” Dr Al Romaithi said.
“The space sector serves as a catalyst for economic development and diversification, creating job opportunities and enabling scientists and engineers to become leaders of an industry that can bring huge benefits to our daily lives.”
Both countries will also work together in the joint use of aircraft, scientific instruments aboard spacecraft, ground-based research facilities, spacecraft and space research platforms, as well as ground-based antennas for tracking, telemetry and data acquisition.
“Nasa is leading an ambitious journey to Mars that includes partnerships with the private sector and many international partners,” said Charles Bolden, Nasa’s administrator. “I am confident this new framework agreement with the UAE Space Agency will help advance this journey, as well as other endeavours in the peaceful exploration of outer space. Already, technical experts from our two countries are engaged in discussions and I believe our two agencies will collaborate for years to come through a common interest in aeronautics, exploration and discovery.”
Education and public outreach programmes as well as joint workshops will be created to facilitate the exchange of scientific data, scientists, engineers and experiences.
Nasa and the UAE Space Agency also formalised cooperation in the exploration of Mars as the first field of collaboration by signing an Implementing Arrangement. It establishes a joint steering group to guide discussions about potential future projects that contribute to exploring the Red Planet.