NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, met with United Arab Emirates Space Agency Chairman, Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi, in Abu Dhabi. The meeting made official that the United States and the UAE will join forces to work in aeronautics research and “the exploration of airspace and outer space for peaceful purposes.”
The two men, Bolden and Romaithi, signed the agreement last Sunday, but the two countries have already been working together for a while.
“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.” Already, technical experts from our two countries are engaged in discussions on several areas of mutual interest, and I believe our two agencies will collaborate for years to come through a common interest in aeronautics, exploration and discovery.”
His homolog, Dr. Khalifa Romaithi, talked about how the U.S. and UAE had been allies for a long time sharing economic, cultural and diplomatic bonds. The United Arabic Emirates Space Agency will work with American agencies in the fields of aeronautics, space science, and space exploration. Both parties made emphasis on the term “peaceful exploration” which is crucial. Outer space is a delicate matter around the world because there is no clear delimitation and the possibility of militarization is a huge concern in the developed countries.
The ultimate goal of the union is to explore the Red Planet
Going to outer space is hard and extremely expensive, but peaceful space exploration gives a unique opportunity. Usually, there is a lot of secrecy surrounding technologic research, but to be able to explore the universe, that policy has proven ineffective, and there is a lot of collaboration between space agencies around the world. For example, NASA works together with the European Space Agency on a lot of projects including the managements of telescopes such as The Hubble.
This new Union between NASA and UAESA will immediately start working on the necessary framework to take the human life to Mars. The exploration of the Red Planet would benefit everyone, and not only the parties involved.
“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.” Said Dr. Khalifa Romaithi Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.
Last Sunday’s meeting is the conclusion of a process that started on March 19, 2015, when officials from the space organizations of the two superpowers met for the first time at NASA’s headquarters in Washington. The representatives, who included NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for International and Interagency Relations Al Condes, Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi and Dr. Mohamed Al Ahbabi, also toured the Goddard Space Flight Center and met its director, Christopher Scolese.