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The UAE’s commitment to space research and innovation is evident through its various programs to ensure the long-term success of its home-grown space industry. The country’s space exploration has taken a major leap, with Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi arriving at the International Space Station this March as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Mission, marking the Arab world’s first long-duration space mission and the UAE’s second mission to the ISS. It is also an opportunity to participate in collaborative scientific research. The recently announced Emirates Moon Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA,) a 13-year project involving six years of spacecraft development, is another of UAE’s space ambitions.
With the space economy expected to grow beyond $634 billion by 2026, it only makes sense that space exploration will be a key theme at the 18th edition of the Dubai Airshow taking place at Dubai World Central (DWC) from 13 to 17 November. A MoU was signed between the Dubai Airshow and the UAE Space Agency.
“The UAE has made great strides in building national capabilities in earth observation, training astronauts, sending missions to the moon and soon to the asteroid belt. The most critical component in the next five to ten years will be building major private sector capabilities,” said Ibrahim Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General of the UAE Space Agency.
He added Dubai Airshow, which has generated more than $816 million in business, is the best platform to facilitate enormous opportunities for startups to be established in the UAE.
Dr. Gustavo Dos Santos, Chief Researcher, Propulsion and Space Research Centre (PSRC) at the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), said, “With a complete section dedicated to space in the upcoming edition, we hope to add value through our participation in conferences that discuss the correlation between aerospace and climate change.”
By investing in space-related activities, the UAE intends to diversify its economy. The country has set a goal of transitioning to a knowledge-based economy, and space exploration is seen as a key area of growth and development.