The UAE Space Agency said that its board officials visited a number of key stakeholders in several European countries in order to strengthen the agency’s partnership in carrying out its space mission.
The UAE Space Agency was established by President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in July 2014 in order to help the country send the region’s first unmanned mission to Mars by 2021.
The delegation, which was led by UAE Space Agency Chairman Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi and the agency’s Director General Mohammad Nasser Al Ahbabi, discussed areas of cooperation with various institutions working in the sector.
The meetings mainly focused on ways to exchange knowledge and experience in space technology and science, a statement said.
UAE Space Agency officials met with senior executives from the Italian Space Agency and France-based Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES).
The delegation also visited the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and discussed ways on how the two parties could cooperate and exchange knowledge in the sector.
“The gatherings and extended meetings were a success by all measures,” said Rumaithi.
“We examined advanced, pioneering projects and briefed the stakeholders on our future plans for establishing strategic partnerships in aerospace affairs. Without a doubt, the results we achieved on this trip will allow all stakeholders the opportunity for feasible joint projects and scientific endeavors.”
The UAE is also looking to set up partnerships with these agencies in the future, officials said.
“We aim to establish strategic partnerships with various agencies that have expressed their interest and desire to open fields of joint cooperation,” said Ahbabi.
“We look forward to launching the UAE onto the world stage through the various aerospace committees affiliated with the United Nations.
“These committees are established as a platform for discussions on the challenges, opportunities and latest developments in the aerospace sector, so by participating we are striving to contribute effectively towards putting the UAE on the aerospace map internationally.”
The UAE announced plans last year to send a probe to Mars by 2021, in a bid to send the Arab world’s first mission to another planet. The probe’s journey will take nine-months and span more than 60 million kilometres.
The mission, to be led by Emiratis, will make the UAE one of nine countries with space programmes to explore Mars.
The UAE Space Agency said that it signed an agreement in October 2014 with the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology, EIAST, to build the probe to Mars.