Space, the next frontier for UAE-India cooperation
In February last year, for instance, the UAE chose India as a partner to launch its nanosatellite Nayif-1 into space.
The UAE and India have been partners for many years, but the bond has been strengthening in the last few years and the scope of cooperation is widening like never before. Since August 2015, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE, the two countries have had multiple exchange visits, which underline the importance of the fact that each side accords to the growing relationship. Several pacts have been signed and both countries are eagerly looking to work together on various fronts, space being one of them.
It is a relatively new frontier for cooperation, but the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) both have ambitious plans and great interest in paving way for greater partnership and collaboration.
In February last year, for instance, the UAE chose India as a partner to launch its nanosatellite Nayif-1 into space. It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India.
While this was one of the first great achievements for the UAE's nascent space mission, plans here are grandiose to say the least. The 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE would be commemorated with Emirates Mars Mission orbiter - a first in the region. The rocket is expected to blast off from the Earth during a brief "launch window" in July 2020 and is set to arrive on Mars in 2021. Only a handful countries in the world can boast of this kind of achievement, and the UAE is gearing to make a mark on this front.
The UAE has also surprised the world with visionary Mars 2117 plan to colonise the red planet.
India, on the other hand, has developed a robust space industry and has accomplished many a feat in recent years. In 2009, India's first lunar foray made a stunning discovery and found water molecules on the moon. And now it is planning another mission by January 2019, which is to launch a rover on the south pole of the moon, a feat that has not being accomplished by any space agency so far. If successful, it will pave way for even more ambitious missions, such as landings on Mars, as well as Venus probe.
As the UAE is eagerly working to realise it's plans for space exploration, close working relations between the two nations can do a world of good to both.
The two have already advanced ties in sectors such as defence, investment, security, terrorism, cyberspace, maritime transport, consular matters, energy and technology cooperation along with regional and other global issues of mutual interest. It won't come as a surprise to see these two young and ambitious nations working together on space missions and emerging as leaders in near future. firstname.lastname@example.org
(Reporting from Bengaluru)