The oil-rich nation plans to share research, instruments and spacecraft in an effort to make their mark in space exploration.
New money has been pumped into the planned Mars mission now NASA and the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement allowing the relatively new UAE space agency to collaborate on the Red Planet’s exploration. The agreement is primarily in place to promote a peaceful cooperation in shared research and airspace use.
Signed at a conference in Abu Dhabi on June 12 by NASA’s administrator Charles Bolden and Dr. Khalifa Al Romaithi, the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) Chairman, the agreement allows both space agencies to share aeronautic research, various instruments used for research and even spacecraft.
“I am confident this new framework agreement with the UAE Space Agency will help advance this journey, as well as other endeavors in the peaceful exploration of outer space,” said Bolden.
But the main focus will be on the 2030 plan to reach Mars which will be costing NASA a vast amount and with only $180 billion budget over the next 20 years, could cause NASA to abandon other important projects such as the International Space Station which is clearly not something they would want to do.
“While sending humans to Mars, and returning them safely to the Earth, may be technically feasible, it is an extraordinarily challenging goal, from physiological, technical, and programmatic standpoints,” Dr. Sommerer, a space scientist who headed the technical panel, told lawmakers. “It is only with unprecedented cumulative investment, and, frankly, unprecedented discipline in development, testing, execution, and leadership, that this enterprise is likely to be successful,” quoted from a report by Christian Science Monitor.
But collaborations are beneficial to all involved. In this case, the UAESA is young and this could be a way to speed up developing space technology as well as creating economic benefits such as opening job opportunities and having the chance to put their stamp on space exploration. The UAESA is currently planning to send a robotic probe to Mars in 2020 to study the planet’s atmosphere.
Bolden states the collaboration is a step in the right direction and will benefit space travel as well as humanity.
“Together, we can bring humanity to the face of Mars and reach new heights for the benefit of all humankind … and we will.”