Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UAE Space Agency Discusses Future Cooperation with NASA

Mohammad Al Ahbabi, the Director General of UAE Space Agency. Credit: UAE Space Agency.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency announced today that it has discussed future cooperation means with a delegation from NASA. The meeting held at the Agency’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, aimed to strengthen partnership and work between the two organizations. The delegation led by Badri Younes, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN), was welcomed by His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency and a number of senior officials from the nation’s space sector. The meeting was also attended by Sami Asmar, IND/DSN Strategic and International Planning Office Manager at JPL.

The two sides discussed knowledge transfer opportunities, technical and training information, cooperating on the Deep Space Network and the development of a ground station, as well as collaborating on the “Hope Probe” program.

The delegates also discussed the possibility of cooperating on the analysis of the data provided by the probe and allowing other governmental and scientific entities in the country to benefit from the results by enhancing operations and business.

Commenting on the meeting, Al Ahbabi said: “the UAE space agency is keen to develop strong relations with different space agencies around the world, with the aim to support the Agency’s current and future programs and reach its strategic plans and goals in developing the space sector in the UAE.”

He added: “we discussed ways to push forward the development of the “Hope Probe” project, as NASA has a proven record in developing similar programs throughout the years and to other planets in the solar system.”

Al Ahbabi also said that the “Hope Probe” will place the country amongst advanced countries in space exploration, a contribution to mankind’s efforts to explore the Red Planet. It will be a culmination of the UAE’s efforts in space - which started three decades ago and was led by the guidance and commitment of its leadership through projects such as data transmission services, broadcasting TV across space and mobile communications.

The agency representatives attended the meeting included, Khaled Al Hashmi, Director of Space Mission Management; Mubarak Al Ahbabi, Senior Specialist System & Program; Dr. Muthanna AlMahmoud, Engineering and Design Manager; Dr. Omar Al Emam, Space Technology Advisor.

NASA’s delegation meeting agenda also included visits to Thuraya - Mobile Satellite Communications Company, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre to witness the latest developments at these entities. 

Credit: space.gov.ae

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