UAE Space Agency holds first meeting post-restructuring

The meeting discussed the latest developments in space projects and initiatives.

In the wake of its restructuring, as mandated by a decree from the UAE cabinet, the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency convened for its first meeting. Chaired by Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairperson of UAE Space Agency, the session focused on strategic advancements in the national space sector and updates on ongoing space projects and initiatives. Emphasis was placed on fortifying the UAE’s global standing as a significant player in the field of space.

Newly appointed board members Dr Mubarak Saeed Al Jabri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Omran Anwar Al Hashimi, Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Saeed Rashid Al Zahmi, Ali Muhammad Al Neyadi, Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai, Masoud Muhammad Mahmoud, and Amal Abdullah Al Hammadi were in attendance.

Sarah Al Amiri commenced the meeting with a welcoming address, highlighting the pivotal role of the UAE Space Agency in realising national aspirations in space exploration. She expressed gratitude to former board members for their contributions from 2020 to 2023 and welcomed the new members responsible for the term from 2023 to 2026.

Key discussions during the meeting centred on the formation and approval of temporary committees aimed at regulating the national space sector. These committees include the Committee for Exemption from Conditions or Controls for Permitting Space Activities and Other Activities Related to the Space Sector, and the Committee for Exemption of Some Space Activities from the Requirements Included in the Regulations to Ensure Compensation for Damage to Third Parties During Space Activities. Additionally, a committee was established to investigate accidents, incidents, and procedures for proving administrative violations as per the UAE cabinet’s decree No. (17/and 2) of (2023).

The members were briefed on the space quality standards policy, encompassing the establishment of technical quality standards and project risk management systems for space missions. This policy underscores the UAE Space Agency’s commitment to adhering to the best international practices in space projects.

The meeting also provided an overview of the current status of the Space Licensing and Permits Office, including the registration of 11 operators, issuance of 36 non-objection certificates, 69 registered space activities, and 18 companies.

Board members discussed efforts to strengthen international cooperation in space research, emphasising the significance of leveraging scientific data from the Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe for enhanced research and technological development. Plans were outlined for knowledge sharing with local talents and ongoing collaboration with strategic partners until 2026.

Scientific achievements of the Hope Probe were highlighted, unveiling an impressive 3.3 Terabytes of atmospheric data from Mars and the publication of more than 19 scientific and research papers in prestigious international journals. The Hope Probe’s groundbreaking observations of the smaller Mars moon “Deimos” and new types of aurora were also celebrated.