NASA and United Arab Emirates team up for Mars missions


ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – NASA and the United Arab Emirates have signed a collaboration agreement on aeronautics research and space discovery with a focus on one of agency’s key pursuits — the exploration of Mars.

“NASA is leading an ambitious journey to Mars that includes partnerships with the private sector and many international partners,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a statement released on Monday.

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) plans to send the first manned mission to Mars in the 2030s, and is currently trying to upgrade its space launch systems and Orion Spacecraft in a manner that they will be capable of transporting passengers to the red planet.

“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. Already, technical experts from our two countries are engaged in discussions on several areas of mutual interest, and I believe our two agencies will collaborate for years to come through a common interest in aeronautics, exploration and discovery,” Bolden added.

The UAE has recently announced plans to send an unmanned probe to Mars, without giving specifications of its program. It has also entered cooperation agreements with China, Russia, and the UK aimed at expanding its space exploration programs.

The statement added that NASA and the UAE also plan to “facilitate the exchange of scientific data, scientists and engineers.”

UAE Space Agency Chairman Khalifa Mohammed Thani Al-Romaithi welcomed the new deal, and noted, “The space sector serves as a catalyst for economic development and diversification.”

“We at the UAE Space Agency genuinely welcome the opportunity to collaborate and work with the USA and NASA in the fields of aeronautics, space science, and the peaceful exploration of outer space toward the common goal of fostering the well-being of humankind,” he added.