The United States of America and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have entered into an agreement to cooperate in aeronautics research, and the exploration and use of airspace and outer space for peaceful purposes, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has said in a press statement.
The two countries will work together in the peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of humanity, the aerospace administration said.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and UAE Space Agency Chairman Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi formalized and signed the agreement on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at a meeting in Abu Dhabi.
“NASA is leading an ambitious journey to Mars that includes partnerships with the private sector and many international partners,” said Bolden. “I am confident this new framework agreement with the UAE Space Agency will help advance this journey, as well as other endeavors in the peaceful exploration of outer space.”
Technical experts from the two countries are already engaged in discussions on several areas of mutual interest, Bolden said, adding, “and I believe our two agencies will collaborate for years to come through a common interest in aeronautics, exploration and discovery.”
The agreement covers cooperation and collaboration in space science, operational Earth observation and Earth science, aeronautics, space operations and exploration, education, technology, safety and mission assurance, and other areas with potential benefits to all nations.
Both parties recognize the mutual benefit to be gained from working together in the exploration and peaceful use of outer space, and this agreement facilitates and strengthens the long-standing relationship between the United States and UAE.
The two countries will continue to identify additional areas of mutual interest for possible future cooperative programs or joint activities on Earth, in airspace, or in outer space. These activities may include the joint use of aircraft, scientific instruments aboard spacecraft, ground-based research facilities, spacecraft and space research platforms, as well as ground-based antennas for tracking, telemetry, and data acquisition.
Additionally, the two countries will aim to collaborate on the creation and implementation of education and public outreach programs and joint workshops, with the goal of facilitating the exchange of scientific data, scientists, engineers, and views and experiences on relevant regulatory frameworks and standards.
“The United Arab Emirates and the United States of America are long-standing allies and have deep economic, cultural and diplomatic ties,” said Al Romaithi. “We at the UAE Space Agency genuinely welcome the opportunity to collaborate and work with the USA and NASA in the fields of aeronautics, space science, and the peaceful exploration of outer space toward the common goal of fostering the well-being of humankind.
“Since its founding, the UAE Space Agency has been emphasizing the importance of cooperating and collaborating with international partners in the fields of space science and the peaceful exploration of outer space. This agreement opens the door to the creation of a wide range of mutually beneficial programs and activities involving numerous organizations within the UAE and the USA.
“The reason why cooperation and collaboration are important to the UAESA is because we believe that working alongside international partners is the best way to accelerate the development of space technologies and the space sector within the UAE. The space sector serves as a catalysts for economic development and diversification, creating job opportunities and enabling scientists and engineers to become leaders of an industry that can bring huge benefits to our daily lives.”
NASA and the UAE Space Agency also formalized cooperation in the exploration of Mars as the first field of collaboration between the agencies by signing an Implementing Arrangement under the Framework. The Implementing Arrangement establishes a joint steering group to guide discussions about potential future projects that contribute to exploring the Red Planet.