The UN institution responsible for space travel welcomed a new partnership with the United Arab Emirates to work on space sustainability in an online forum on Wednesday.
The country is set to launch a space exploration probe toward Mars on July 15. The probe, named “Hope” in Arabic, should reach Mars in February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the formation of the UAE.
Ahead of the launch, UAE space officials attending an online symposium organized by TRENDS Research & Advisory.
During the event, Simonetta Di Pippo, the director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), welcomed the UAE’s participation in a new space sustainability drive.
“Less than a month ago, we opened a new collaboration with the UAE Space Agency to build on our shared commitment to ensuring space sustainability, both in the space environment itself and supporting sustainability here on Earth,” she said.
The UAE is working hard to ensure the sustainable progress of its space sector, said Fatima al-Shamsi, Space Policies Specialist at the UAE Space Agency.
“We came up with 13 space activities that will drive our strategy for the next ten years, including R&D, manufacturing, ground segment operations, and value-added services. We also made sure our strategy is aligned with the Centennial Plan 2071,” al-Shamsi said.
Amer al-Ghafri, who was representing the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center that co-built the probe in the Emirates Mars Mission, predicted it would be a success.
“Thanks to the outstanding capabilities of the UAE’s space program, we are very confident that we can continue leveraging the full potentialities of new space technologies,” al-Ghafri said.
The probe will be the first interplanetary mission carried out by an Arab nation.