Canada and the United Arab Emirates Sign Space Memorandum of Understanding

CSA President Sylvain Laporte and His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of @uaespaceagency, signed a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Cooperation in the Exploration and Peaceful Use of Space. Also in the picture are His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, top right and ISED Minister Navdeep Bains. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

It was but one stop on a tour of Canada, but His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, toured the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and was present as His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries.

Cooperation for the peaceful use and exploration of space

SpaceQ contacted the CSA for more details on the agreement and a spokesperson said the  “MOU aims to facilitate collaboration between the two countries for the peaceful use and exploration of space. The signing of the MOU was a first step to show both Agencies’ interest to deepen collaborative efforts and work together on a wide variety of projects to advance the knowledge of space through science, and ensure that space science and technology continue to benefit our citizens and industries. Similar to MOUs with other space agencies, its scope is broad and covers a range of potential areas of collaboration including scientific research, education and training, and technology development and application.”

The agreement was signed on Monday, May 28.

UAE Hope Mars Mission logo
UAE Hope Mars Mission logo. Credit: UAE Space Agency.

The UAE Space Agency

The UAE launched its national space agency in 2015 and has been aggressively moving forward with its program. The UAE Space Agency budget was set at $72 million for 2018.

The first mission the UAE Space Agency was tasked to undertake was the Hope Mars Mission, an orbiter to be launched in 2020.

According to the MBRSC website the “project will cover all aspects that have not been previously covered, whether scientific or knowledge-based, and it will work on drawing a clear and comprehensive picture of the Martian climate.”

The UAE will also be host to the prestigious 68th International Astronautical Congress in 2020. One might surmise that between now and then stronger ties between the space agencies might be built, with the goal of more specific cooperation announced during the Congress.

Another MOU signed

The agreement between the Canadian Space Agency and UAE Space Agency was not the only one signed on the UAE’s delegation trip to Canada.

According to Global Affairs Canada “the ministers also noted the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation on consular affairs.”

Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said “I was glad to hold constructive discussions today with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah to find solutions to global and regional crises. Canada and the United Arab Emirates have a strong and long-standing relationship, and I look forward to continuing to build on this important friendship and to cooperating even more closely with the U.A.E. in the near future.’’

The new MOU’s come after the two countries had already signed a Defence Cooperation Arrangement in December of 2017.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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