UAE signs agreement with Nasa to cooperate in manned space flights

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UAE signs agreement with Nasa to cooperate in manned space flights

Dubai - The UAE will be hosting the 4th Young Professionals in Space Conference 2019.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Thu 19 Jul 2018, 7:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 19 Jul 2018, 10:01 AM

The UAE Space Agency has signed an agreement with NASA to cooperate in human space flights. The agreement was signed by UAE Space Agency's director general, Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi and Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine on July 18.
The deal has been signed less than one month after UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre signed an agreement with Russia's space agency (ROSCOSMOS) to send the first Emirati to space onboard the Soyuz rocket in April, 2019. A Russian commander, an American engineer will also be on the flight to the International Space Station.

"This morning I met with the Director General of the @UAESpaceAgency, HE Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi. We signed a joint letter of intent for cooperation in human space flight. I look forward to working with @DrAlahbabi to further humanity's exploration of space," tweeted Bridenstine, who is the new NASA administrator under the Trump administration.

The UAE Space Agency also tweeted on July 18: "The UAE Space Agency, represented by HE @DrAlahbabi Director General signs a letter of intent with @NASA, represented by @JimBridenstine Administrator, while in the UK for @FIAFarnborough. The MoU builds on joint cooperation in the fields of manned space flights #FIA18."

Nasa and the UAE Space Agency have held several meetings in the past to find ways to strengthen their partnership. One agreement was signed between the two agencies last year, where they agreed to cooperate in aeronautics research and to utilise airspace and outer space for peaceful purposes. In 2016, they signed an agreement to cooperate in exploring Mars. However, this is the first agreement between the two in terms of cooperation in human space flights.

The UAE is set to have its first astronaut corps of four this year and one of them will head to the International Space Station in April, and will become the first Emirati to go into space.

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