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UAE, Israel sign landmark agreement on space cooperation, planetary research

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The UAE Space Agency has joined forces with the Israel Space Agency to boost cooperation in scientific research, space exploration and knowledge transfer, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

It is the latest in a string of bilateral business agreements achieved between the two Middle East nations following the signing of the Abraham Accords peace agreement a year ago.

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Sarah bint Yousif al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology 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 developing bilateral and multilateral partnerships has never been so important as we embrace a new era of space exploration.”

She signed the agreement with Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology of Israel, during Expo 2020 Dubai’s Space Week, held in association with the UAE Space Agency.

Farkash-Hacohen 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 UAE Space Agency in important and groundbreaking fields. I thank the Minister of Advanced Technology 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.”

Both parties will enhance collaboration and cooperation in a wide range of strategic fields, including exploration, research, data analysis, education and more.

The UAE will exchange research and develop scientific instruments for Israel’s Beresheet-2 mission to land a spacecraft on the Moon by 2024 as part of the landmark agreement.
Universities in Israel and the UAE will also launch collaborative research projects.

They 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.

Israel has witnessed near-unprecedented developments in space research, advanced technologies and the expansion of its private sector in recent decades. Including becoming the eighth country in the world to successfully launch and position satellites in space.

The Emirates’ space program started in 2006 with a knowledge transfer program that saw Emirati engineers working with partners around the world to develop the UAE’s spacecraft design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, launching a series of earth observation satellites designed and built by Emirati engineers.

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