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Tue 28 Jul 2015 10:46 AM

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UAE Space Agency seeks tie up with Bahrain on space exploration

Representatives from Bahrain’s space agency visited Abu Dhabi to discuss a joint project

UAE Space Agency seeks tie up with Bahrain on space exploration

The UAE Space Agency has held talks with Bahrain over how the two countries
could work together on space exploration.

On Sunday, the UAE Space Agency published a statement on its website
revealing that representatives from Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency (NSSA)
had visited Abu Dhabi to discuss potential areas of cooperation.

The statement said: “The UAE Space Agency is looking for opportunities of
co-operation with NSSA to strengthen partnership and work between the two
organisations within the space sector.

“The close relationship between the UAE and Bahrain, as well as the close
economic partnership, creates many opportunities for both countries, especially
in the space industry.

“This strategy falls in line with the agency’s efforts to build strategic partnerships
and achieve goals of regional and international co-operation.”

The Bahraini delegation, led by NSSA chairman Dr Mohammed Al Amer, was
briefed on the UAE’s technological capability to develop space technology such
as satellites and probes.

The statement added: “The two sides discussed opportunities for cooperation
between the various institutions operating in the space sector and how to make
the most of their expertise in the fields of technology and space
science. 

“Both organisations are focusing on developing the space industry, including
implementing programmes and scientific missions aimed at training specialised
space science national cadres.”

The UAE has plans to send an unmanned probe – named the ‘Hope Probe – to
Mars by 2021, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the union of the
emirates.

The unmanned probe, expected to launch in 2020, will take nine months to
make the 60 million km journey to Mars and mark the UAE as one of only nine
countries with space programmes to explore the Red Planet — and the first in
the Middle East.

Mohammed Nasser Al Albahbi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, told Arabian Business in May that the timeframe was tight.

“We are under pressure,” he admitted. “Time is a problem because for this
sort of project every single system is unique — this venture has never been
done before. But we feel we will deliver on time.”

However, a
spokesperson for the UAE Space Agency told Arabian Business there was no
discussion between the two parties of potential cooperation on the Mars
project.