UAE Space Agency, NASA move to cooperate on space exploration

BREMEN (Germany): The UAE Space Agency and NASA signed an Implementing Arrangement (IA) that outlines cooperation across a range of areas related to space exploration and human spaceflight, WAM News Agency reports.

The document was signed by Dr Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi (seen in the picture), Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, and James Bridenstine, Administrator at NASA, during a ceremony at the 69th International Astronautics Congress, being held in Bremen, Germany October 1st-5th.

The IA falls under the overarching Framework Agreement signed by the UAE Space Agency and NASA in June 2016, which established a framework for areas of cooperation in ground-based research; sub-orbital research; research and flight activities in low-Earth orbit (LEO); and human and robotic exploration in the vicinity of the moon, on the lunar surface, and beyond.

“The new IA enables the training arrangements for UAE astronauts to be discussed. It also provides further opportunities for the UAE to utilise the International Space Station (ISS), and for the UAE Space Agency to contribute to lunar exploration,” the agency report said.

Dr Ahmad Al Falasi said, “This significant agreement builds on our bilateral relationship with NASA and the US space sector. It also reflects the deep economic, cultural and diplomatic ties shared between the US and the UAE.”

UAE’s national space sector has reached a highly advanced stage, particularly with regard to the opportunities and expertise prevalent throughout. By advancing the international cooperation in space, UAE Space Agency aims to further develop these local capacities through more sophisticated space missions and drive the growth of the national space sector.

The signing of this agreement reflects the UAE Space Agency’s commitment to further strengthening partnerships with the most important space agencies around the world, with a shared aspiration to launch space exploration projects that benefit humanity in its entirety. The report said it was also in line with the UAE’s objectives of bolstering its presence within the global space sector.

James Bridenstine said, “As NASA builds cooperation for the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, we welcome the opportunity to expand our partnership with the UAE Space Agency as it builds its significant capabilities on Earth, in low-Earth orbit, and beyond.”


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