UAE: Politics of Earth do not go into space, says minister

Space is a shared resource, politics of Earth do not go into space, says Al Amiri


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sat 25 Feb 2023, 12:52 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Mar 2023, 12:31 PM

Space remains a shared resource for the world and the UAE continues to work with global communities to ensure that space is not politicised, said a senior official on Friday.

“As humanity, we cannot politicise space. Space will remain a shared resource. Access to space and being able to send spacecraft, especially to low Earth orbit, isn't a choice or glory project. We all use space data on a daily basis, which makes the overarching relevance of ensuring the growth of the sector, ensuring that the politics of Earth do not go into space, said Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Space Agency and the UAE Council of Scientists.

To address and highlight the issue of space being politicised, the Abu Dhabi Space Debate was held last year in the UAE capital.

“We will run into an access to space issue and sustainability of low Earth orbit of space that we need to cooperate in, especially with more and more spacecraft going into low earth orbit, which is where most of our assets need to be in. Cooperation creates a large drive for emerging space nations and also creates a large drive for private space… We continue to work together with the global communities to ensure that space is not politicised, the dialogue continues, mutual respect and transparency is also there within the space sector across countries and nations,” Al Amiri said during a briefing organised by The Arab Gulf States Institute.

AlNeyadi “a remarkable individual”

She also highlighted that astronauts are going into space now from different countries.

The UAE will send its second astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi along with three other members of the Crew-6 to International Space Station on Monday for scientific explorations. The six-month mission will carry out a total of 250 research experiments, including 20 experiments by the UAE astronaut.

Al Amiri added that AlNeyadi “is a remarkable individual who has developed from the inception of the astronaut programme within the Emirates, trained up to par with global astronauts and today provides us a new venue for science and scientific discovery for the country by heading to the International Space Station.”

Space a risky business

She also pointed out that the space sector is a hard, expensive and highly risky business.

“Designing spacecraft from the inception all the way till delivery, there’s a lot of risks associated, a lot of iterations on developments. So partnerships become important to be able to mitigate risks in some situations and be able to deliver on the overall outcomes and other situations. Space is hard and expensive. And you need to know that going into this, there will be failures. It's just the nature of the sector and you need to have the appetite for that,” she said during the discussion.


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