The UAE further cements its role as an ambassador for space travel…

Abu Dhabi has been confirmed as the location for a new UN outer space affairs project office.

The decision emerged from a virtual conference between the UAE Space Agency and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, UNOOSA.

A space for ideas

It’s not going to be mission control, you won’t see any astronauts dropping in for interplanetary passport control on their way to Mars.

This new site is more of a thought laboratory. A venue to discuss ideas that will shape national, regional and global space policy.

A venue for experts to work together on issues such as space sustainability (like ‘space trash’ — genuinely); how best to share technological innovation; potential collaboration on exploration projects; the proliferation of space-capable nations (a total of 80 nations have launched satellites); and other principles set by the United Nations Committee of Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, COPUOS.


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Simonetta Di Pippo, UNOOSA Director said, “through this agreement, UNOOSA and the UAE take a big step towards establishing a new international hub for space sustainability.”

“With space technology accelerating sustainable development around the world and global investment in the space environment increasing, now is the time to strengthen global dialogue on space sustainability issues.”

Why the UAE?

We are by now well aware of how important building a smart, sustainable future is to the United Arab Emirates.

Developing the technology and skilled workforce to support aspirations of space exploration is an important part of that vision.

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A commitment to investment and focus has meant that although goals of space travel have been in place for a relatively short period, the UAE has already enjoyed huge success.

The country has launched multiple satellites and is in the second phase of its Astronaut Programme (the first having successfully put a UAE national on the International Space Station in September last year).

There’s also the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) which, despite pandemic upheaval, is still on track to launch a Red Planet-bound probe in July this year.

Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi,  Director-General of the UAE Space Agency said, “the UAE Space Agency is pleased to collaborate with UNOOSA in the effort to ensure sustainable development in outer space”

“We look forward to continuing fruitful dialogue designed to accelerate the global space sector’s contribution to humanity’s aspirations.”

Images: WAM/Unsplash