During Expo 2020's Space Week, international participants and local entities have emphasised the importance of bilateral partnerships and private-sector investments when it comes to developing advanced space economies.
The UAE Space Agency highlighted the business opportunities in space exploration, scientific research and its potential to advance economic growth and human progress.
During her keynote speech at Expo’s Space Business Forum, Sarah bint Yousef al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency, said that her overriding objective was to ensure the UAE becomes a global player in the space industry.
“We will work hand-in-hand with the private sector to ensure scientific and technical expertise from our interplanetary missions is accessible, while simultaneously creating a robust regulatory and business framework to consolidate our innovation-driven economy," said Al-Amiri.
UAE astronaut Hazza al-Mansouri, one of several astronauts in attendance during Space Week, said during a panel discussion on 18 October: “You cannot describe the view from space.
“You learn something – you notice there are no borders between countries. It is only continents, mountains, the seas, and that is it. I have learnt that, as humans, we have to walk together to achieve amazing things. Maybe we are divided here [on Earth], but up there, we are united.”
During the week, the UAE Space Agency made partnership announcements with nations and global organisations.
On 20 October, an agreement was signed between the UAE Space Agency and its Israeli counterpart. One of the aspects of the agreement is for the UAE to exchange research and develop scientific instruments for Israel’s Beresheet 2 mission to land a spacecraft on the moon by 2024.
The agency also met with delegations from Hungary, Estonia and the UK to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the space race.
Omran Sharaf, project director of Emirates Hope Mission to Mars said: “To be able to have a competitive knowledge-based, post-oil economy, we need to have an advanced science and technology sector to address our national challenges.”
Referring to the UAE’s Hope probe, now orbiting Mars and gathering vital data about the planet, he said: “A young nation like the UAE, with more than 200 nationalities, has been able to reach Mars in less than 50 years. Over that time, we have built this nation together. So, the message here is, let’s put our differences aside and let’s work with the rest of the world. Let’s be integrated into the global system, and make scientists and engineers part of the journey.”
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