UAE signs deal with Lockheed Martin for space training

The move comes as the country prepares to launch a probe to Mars by 2021

The UAE Space Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding with US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin to launch a space training programme for Emirati students and early career professionals in “space fundamentals”.

The move comes as the country prepares to launch a probe to Mars by 2021.

Read: UAE Establishes Space Centre To Assist Mars Probe

The programme is designed to prepare tomorrow’s Emirati leaders for careers in space and will feature a four-month training programme at Lockheed Martin centres in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City and the United States, according to state news agency WAM.

“The UAE Space Agency recognises the importance of partnering with a global space leader to inspire, train and develop future Emirati trailblazers in this field of space,” said UAE Space Agency chairman Dr Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi.

It is designed to create a future workforce of students and professionals with an eye on long-term careers in the space industry.

“Lockheed Martin has been at the forefront of space exploration technology since the beginning, and we’re deploying all of our expertise from around the world to encourage and train the UAE space explorers of tomorrow,” said Lockheed Martin UAE chief executive Robert S. Harward.

The MoU with Lockheed Martin follows a visit to NASA’s headquarters in the United States last year by the UAE space agency.

Read: UAE Space Agency Visits NASA, Seeks US Partnership

The country is also in the process of drafting a comprehensive space law, director general of the agency Mohammed Al Ahbabi said in March.

Read: UAE drafting space law