The UAE Space Agency on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to strengthen co-operation in space activities exploration for peaceful purposes and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors, UAE Space Agency, and Dr. Naoki Okumura, President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi Hotel.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) also signed a contract with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the launch of Emirates Mars Mission - Mars Probe in 2020 on MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle. The probe is set to arrive at Mars in 2021.
The contract was signed by Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Hisakazu Mizutani, Executive Vice-President at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
Mohammed Naser Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, and Kanji Fujiki, Ambassador of Japan to the UAE, and officials from both countries attended the signing ceremony.
Al Rumaithi, at a press conference, told WAM that the MoU builds on the long-standing diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries. Japan, he noted, is among the UAE's most important partners and has advanced space and technology industries including rocket launching.
He said the MoU is a framework agreement, meaning the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will sign more agreements which will be focussed on space co-operation, technical training for national human resources.
Draft regulations and laws for the space industry are being prepared by the UAE Space Agency, Al Rumaithi noted, adding that the agency's strategy is under discussion.
Dr. Naoki Okumura, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, noted that the UAE and Japan can build on Japan's technology and experiments and share information and space.
To date, Japan has launched 30 space rockets, 29 of which have been successful.