Space exploration: Israel and UAE join forces

Israel Space Agency, UAE Space Agency sign memorandum of understanding to enhance space collaboration

Yoni Kempinski ,

Spaceil control room
Spaceil control room
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

The Israel Space Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency to enhance cooperation in scientific research, space exploration and knowledge transfer to accelerate economic growth and human progress.

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency signed the agreement with Orit Farkash Hacohen (Blue and White), Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology of Israel.

A signing ceremony took place during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week, held in association with the UAE Space Agency. Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, Ibrahim Al Qasim, Executive Director at the UAE Space Agency, and Brigadier General (Res.) Uri Oron, Director General of the Israel Space Agency (ISA), as well as the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology from the Israel Space Agency attended the event alongside senior officials from both countries.

The agreement lays the framework for a mutually beneficial strategic partnership which will strengthen efforts to gather and analyze scientific space data. Both parties will enhance collaboration and cooperation in a wide range of strategic fields, including space exploration, research, data analysis, education and more.

As part of the agreement, two private companies from the UAE will submit proposal to develop scientific instruments for Israel’s Beresheet-2 mission which plans to land a spacecraft on the moon by 2024.

Universities in Israel and the UAE will also launch collaborative research projects. These include exploring red tide phenomenon, analyzing red palm weevil infestation which threatens date palm cultivation, and mapping aerosols – solid and liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere. Vegetation and environmental data gathered by a microsatellite used by the Israel Space Agency and the French Space Agency will also be shared with the UAE.

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technologies and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “Sharing knowledge and expertise is a key part of the UAE’s vision to create an attractive and competitive national space industry. If you look at the most successful global space programs in history, the common denominator is collaboration. Israel has a globally recognized space industry and we are pleased to develop bilateral and multilateral partnerships as we embrace a new era of space exploration.”

Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology said: “Governments sign agreements but people and collaborations are the ones that truly make peace. Israel is an international leader in the worlds of research, space, science and hi-tech. Today on behalf of the Government of Israel, I am pleased to sign a series of agreements for cooperation with the Israeli and Emirati space agencies in important and groundbreaking fields.”

“I thank the Minister of Advanced Technologies Sarah Al Amiri for the significant, collaborative work done in the last year between the two agencies. Thanks to this work we are already launching advanced initiatives for the benefit of our children's education and joint research.

“I share Minister Al Amiri's vision of harnessing science and space not only as an economic stimulus but also for bringing hearts together and educating our next generation.”

Israel has witnessed near-unprecedented developments in space research, advanced technologies and the expansion of a competitive private sector in recent decades. Some of the country’s notable projects are its lunar mission, Beresheet-2, as well as Israel being the eighth country in the world to successfully launch and position satellites in space.

For its part, the UAE inspired the world after launching Emirates Mars Mission in 2020. Today, the Hope Probe is orbiting the Martian planet, collecting unprecedented data to answer key questions about the Red Planet’s atmosphere. Data gathered on this mission will be shared freely with hundreds of scientific institutions worldwide as part of the UAE’s efforts to share knowledge and enhance international cooperation.

The UAE recently announced a new mission to explore Venus and an asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. Scheduled to launch in 2028, it will support the establishment of new Emirati space companies, develop national competencies, and enhance cooperation with global universities and research centres to drive forward economic growth and human progress where the focus in the coming period is in the development and integration of space projects with the private sector.



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