A UAE Space Agency delegation, led by Chairman H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, met with the President of the International Astronautical Federation, Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, to discuss a range of opportunities for collaboration in space science, research and education. H.E. Al Falasi also highlighted the UAE’s interest in hosting the International Astronautical Congress in 2020, coinciding with the launch of the UAE’s Hope Probe mission to Mars.
Following its successful participation in the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Mexico last year, the UAE Space Agency joined the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) in September 2016, further cementing the UAE’s position as a leader within the international space exploration community. The IAF is a prominent space advocacy organization established in 1951 to promote dialogue between scientists around the world and encourage international cooperation in space affairs.
The UAE Space Agency delegation included H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Deputy Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of UAE Space Agency; and other senior Agency officials. Meeting with IAF President, Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall, they discussed ways in which the two organizations could collaborate and cooperate in the fields of research and development, space science and education through the establishment of joint space projects and programs.
The UAE Space Agency delegation also expressed their interest in hosting the 71st edition of the IAC in 2020, given the UAE’s rapidly growing space sector and extensive experience at hosting international events of such magnitude. In addition, 2020 is a symbolic year for space exploration in the UAE and the wider Middle East, with the launch of Hope Probe mission to Mars scheduled to take place.
“Working together with the IAF across issues related to space exploration and utilization is in line with our efforts to strengthen the UAE’s presence within the global space sector, as well as advancing our own capabilities in the field through knowledge sharing and collaborative research and development. The IAF represents a significant aspect of the global space community, and we look forward to further engaging with its members at the upcoming 68th IAC later this month,” said H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.
“We recognize the importance of international collaboration in the fields of space science, research, education and exploration, all of which should be considered part of humankind’s common heritage. Through such mutual interests and shared goals, space exploration and utilization will bring further benefits to all of humanity,” added H.E. Al Falasi.
Since its foundation, the Agency has successfully established relationships with multiple global space industry organizations and agencies that have a joint vision for space exploration. This includes signing a Cooperation Agreement with NASA and Memorandums of Understanding with national space agencies of France, Russia, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom, among others.
“During the UAE Space Agency’s participation in the 67th IAC, and earlier this year when we hosted the Global Space Congress held in Abu Dhabi, we have exchanged insights in space research, technology, education and regulation with a wide range of international organizations. We are eager to continue doing so through cooperating and collaborating with the IAF, and look forward to further discussing the possibility of hosting IAC 2020 in the UAE,” said H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of UAE Space Agency.
“Our productive meeting with Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall included discussions of cooperation in space education, which constitutes a core element of our strategic efforts. Developing a generation of young space pioneers capable of leading regional efforts to explore and utilize space peacefully is a central aspect of our commitment to assisting the UAE in its transition to a knowledge-based economy, in line with UAE Vision 2021,” concluded H.E. Al Ahbabi.
The IAF consists of more than 300 members from 66 countries. The members come from a variety of organizations including space agencies, companies, universities, professional associations, government bodies, and institutes. The IAF has close ties with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), with whom the IAF organizes the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).