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UAE Space Agency marks second anniversary

posted on 18/07/2016: 2261 views

The UAE Space Agency is celebrating its second anniversary, reflecting on its remarkable achievement since its establishment, said a top official.

These successes include developing and integrating the UAE national space sector, launching the agency's strategy and signing several important MoUs with prominent global space industry players, remarked its chairman Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi.

"With our solid foundation, we reaffirm our absolute commitment to the nation, and to raising the UAE's profile within the global space sector. We are determined to fulfil the leadership's decision to become a leading nation in space sciences, and to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the UAE by reaching Mars," stated Al Romaithi.

"Since our foundation, we have worked to realise the vision of our national leadership for this sector, which took form in 1973 when Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan met with a Nasa delegation. The governmental vision, care and support offered to the Space Agency serves as motivation for all those leading our various projects to continue to work towards the established goals," he added.

Established under federal law, it has a mandate to organise, regulate and support the national space sector. It also encourages the development and use of space science and technology in the country, and advises the sector in this regard.

During this relatively short period, the agency has gone to great lengths to develop the national space sector in the UAE. These efforts have included formulating the UAE national space policy, which is currently being reviewed by relevant parties, and finalising the space strategy.

Also, the space agency has successfully established relationships with several global space industry organisations and agencies that have a common vision for space exploration. This includes signing MoU's with Nasa and the national space agencies of France, Russia, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom, among other.

The space agency was also successful in gaining membership to the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, thus making the UAE the first Arab country to join the prestigious global organisation.

Al Romaithi said the agency attracted global attention and strengthened the national standing in the international space community with the organisation of a mission to observe and study the entry of an artificial space debris into the Earth's atmosphere in November last year.

The mission, which was a joint project with the Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomy Centre and the Nasa, represented a unique opportunity for scientists due to the limitations on precisely predicting the time and place of entry into the atmosphere.

This facilitated global development of orbital forecasts and studies of near-earth objects, such as asteroids, meteors, satellites and debris, stated Al Romaithi.

"Despite being recently established, the successes achieved by the UAE Space Agency in this short period have put it on the right path for catching up with its counterpart agencies in the global space sector," he added.

Lauding the agency on its anniversary, Yahsat CEO Masood M. Sharif Mahmood said since inception, the agency had been instrumental in raising its nation's profile as a pioneering member of the global space community by developing and nurturing home-grown talent, and by leading and encouraging the exploration of new horizons.

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, the director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said: "The UAE Space Agency was able in just two years to achieve a number of accomplishments that have reinforced the UAE's role in the global space community."

"Locally, it has also played a key role in developing a space strategy and regulating the space sector," he added.

Bernie Dunn, the president of Boeing (Mena and Turkey), said: "This year Boeing celebrates its Centennial and is looking forward to the next 100 years with great anticipation. We see space exploration as an important frontier for Boeing and the UAE."

"We are proud to see the progress made and the partnerships established. We see great opportunity to accelerate planned activities and work together to shape the future of space exploration and the journey to Mars," he added.

Thuraya chief executive Samir Halawi said, "In the past, Arab scientists observed the stars to learn more about the world around them. This tradition continues with the pioneering and comprehensive approach of the UAE Space Agency."

"The UAE has developed a new path for contributing to humanity. The UAE Space Agency was founded to build bridges with the world's leading space agencies, since sharing scientific knowledge and the spirit of cooperation will create a lasting legacy," he added. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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