UAE Embassy, MBRSC, UAE Space Agency & NASA Reaffirm Collaboration in Human Space Exploration

11.03.2024 Aviation & Space
UAE Embassy, MBRSC, UAE Space Agency & NASA Reaffirm Collaboration in Human Space Exploration

UAE Embassy, MBRSC, UAE Space Agency & NASA Reaffirm Collaboration in Human Space Exploration

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Senior officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US) reaffirmed Friday their shared commitment to expand cooperation and advance scientific and technical collaboration in the fields of human space exploration and aeronautics research.

The officials spoke at a briefing in Washington, D.C. that included representatives from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the UAE Space Agency and the National Space Council. The event was hosted by UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.

Building on the recent announcement that the UAE and US will work together to support NASA’s Gateway, humanity’s first lunar space station, NASA administrator Bill Nelson praised the deepening relationship, noting that “[t]he partnership between the United States and the United Arab Emirates is strong and growing stronger. Together, we are taking giant leaps in science and technology that will further the Artemis campaign, and the future of human space exploration.”

“The UAE is proud to work with partners across the US to build upon humanity’s collective understanding of the cosmos,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.

“From the Gateway program to exploring Mars’ atmosphere, our two nations’ partnership continues to go from strength to strength. Not even the sky is the limit for our shared ambitions,” he added.

Through cooperation with NASA, US research institutions and the wider aeronautics industry, the UAE has developed a space program that has achieved notable accomplishments in a relatively short timeframe. In 2021, the UAE’s Emirates Mars Mission “Hope Probe” successfully began orbiting the Red Planet, providing the most detailed look ever of the Martian atmosphere. The MBRSC and NASA have also collaborated on human spaceflight endeavors. In 2019, astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori became the first Emirati to fly to space during a short mission to the International Space Station (ISS), during which time he collaborated with NASA to perform experiments and educational outreach.

A second Emirati astronaut, H.E. Dr. Sultan Saif Al Neyadi, who was recently appointed the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, launched to the ISS in 2023 as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission, leading scientific research to advance human knowledge and improve life on Earth. His six-month tenure aboard the ISS marked the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission; he also conducted the first spacewalk by an Arab astronaut. Two first-time astronaut candidates from the UAE, Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla also recently completed their training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and received their NASA astronaut pins.

“Our partnership with the US, particularly in space exploration, stands as a testament to humanity's potential when united in a common purpose,” said Dr. Al Neyadi. “Together, we have embarked on a transformative journey that transcends boundaries, driving forward a new era of discovery and innovation.”

“A testament to this thriving collaboration is our partnership with NASA in developing the Emirates Airlock for the Gateway Lunar Space Station,” said MBRSC Director General Salem Humaid Al Marri. “As we look to the future, we are reminded that it is through unity and shared vision that we can push the boundaries of what is possible, creating a legacy of innovation and discovery for future generations.”

In 2020, the UAE and US were among the original signers of the Artemis Accords, which are a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s 21st-century lunar exploration program.

UAE Space Agency’s Director General, H.E. Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, said: “International cooperation in space, including through the US-UAE partnership, is fundamental for scientific achievement and advancement. Our partnerships with NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and several US research institutions strengthen cooperation in support of our shared vision and strategy to improve safety and security in space, expand the scope of international scientific research, and develop new technologies that contribute to improving human lives.”

“The growing US-UAE partnership goes beyond human spaceflight and the Gateway airlock, to Earth observation, climate resiliency, and the exploration of Mars and the Asteroid Belt, among many other areas,” said National Space Council Executive Secretary Chirag Parikh. “The US is also proud that our partnership with the Emirates extends into the safe and responsible use of space via the Artemis Accords. There are infinite possibilities for US-UAE cooperation in space, and we’re very proud to call our Emirati partners friends and collaborators along the way.”

The event comprised a series of discussions featuring senior government officials from the US and UAE space sectors. Participants included Emirati astronauts and experts from both countries. The event was attended by diplomats, current and former US government officials, scientists and business executives. (Source & Photo © UAE Embassy in Washington, D.C.)



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