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Head of UAE Space Agency meets government and business leaders at IAC 2021

Al Qubaisi explores closer cooperation in spaceflight technology, investment, scientific research, exploratory missions, and knowledge sharing with global partners at the event.

The UAE Space Agency’s Director-General, Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, has concluded high-level strategic talks with 10 government and business delegations as part of the nation’s drive to become a world-class space player.

The high-level meetings to promote closer cooperation and collaboration in space and technology took place at the 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which the UAE is hosting for the first time ever.

Among them included talks with the European Space Agency’s Director-General, Dr Josef Aschbacher, to explore Emirati-European astronautical missions and the exchange of satellite data. A meeting with the Saudi Space Commission presented an opportunity to advance joint initiatives under the umbrella of the Emirati – Saudi Space cooperation.

The UAE Space Agency also met with Dr Joel Marciano Jr, Director General of the Philippines Space Agency in the presence of the Philippines Ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn M Quintana.

Under the UAE Space Agency’s strategy to create a competitive private sector and attract foreign direct investment, Al Qubaisi met with the Director-General of European aerospace giant Airbus, which provides satellites, spacecraft, civilian and military launch services as well as commercial aircrafts. He also held talks with the CEO of Abu Dhabi’s Yahsat, Ali Alhashmi, who recently signed a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch a next-generation satellite onboard a Falcon 9 rocket. A meeting also took place with Israel Aerospace Industries, a week after the UAE and Israel signed a strategic agreement to work together on a range of space-related matters, including the Beresheet 2 lunar mission.

Other meetings included direct talks with Blue Origin, Safran and the UK Space Agency.

Salem Butti Al Qubaisi said: “Space may be the next frontier of business investment and innovation, but the only way to navigate this complex environment is through enhanced international cooperation. The 72nd IAC has provided a unique opportunity to bring 110 participating countries and space agencies together to take a quantum leap forward in humanity’s ongoing efforts to use cutting-edge science and technology to explore the solar system and beyond. I was delighted to meet with more than a dozen government and business leaders today from around the world to explore areas of mutual interest and demonstrate how the UAE can be a trusted partner that adds value to international space endeavours.”

During the meetings, Al Qubaisi provided an update on the latest achievements from the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe. Approximately 110 gigabytes of data gathered during the interplanetary mission have been free with scientific organisations around the world.

He also discussed the UAE’s new mission to explore Venus and the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars. He explained that its primary mission is the acceleration of the Emirates’ space sector, particularly in the development of private sector companies specialised in space systems development, engineering, research, science and analytics.

Al Qubaisi met with Dr Joel Marciano Jr. Director General of the Philippines Space Agency in the presence of the Philippines Ambassador to the UAE, Hjayceelyn M. Quintana; Dr Josef Aschbacher, Director General of European Space Agency; Volodymyr Taftay, Chairman of the State Space Agency of Ukraine; Chris Leck, Deputy Executive Director of Singapore’s Office for Space Technology & Industry; Chris Hearsey; CEO of Exolaunch; Tejpaul Bhatia, from Texas-based space infrastructure firm Axiom; Ali Alhashmi, CEO of Yahsat; Israel Aerospace Industries; Gregory Pedersen, Regional Sales Director, Airbus; Blue Origin; a delegation from Saudi Space Commission; and a delegation from the UK Space Agency.

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