Israel and the UAE signed a historic space exploration and cooperation agreement last Wednesday at ‘World Space Week’, part of 2020 Expo Dubai.
Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space Orit Farkash, and the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology Sarah Al Amiri signed the historic agreement together at Expo 2020’s World Space Week, held throughout this week in Dubai.
Alongside the umbrella agreement, two other specific cooperation projects were signed: one on the 'Beresheet 2' moon mission and the other on groundbreaking scientific research based on the Israeli-French satellite ‘Venus’ and its data.
The Beresheet 2 is Israel's second attempt at launching a lunar mission. The first – named 'Beresheet' after the first word in the Torah meaning "in the beginning" – was launched in 2019 with the goal of landing on the surface of the moon, making Israel just the fourth country on the planet to attempt a moon landing.
The agreement pertaining to the Israeli-French ‘Venus’ satellite will examine phenomena related to Earth resources, precision agriculture, desertification, and monitoring of bodies of water, among other research. By constantly examining the earth, the satellite will analyze agriculture, desertification, water monitoring, and climate change– issues common both to Israel and the Emirates.
In addition, the two will promote a project with the participation of Arab and Jewish students from both countries. The project began as an educational initiative for Arab and Jewish students of the 'Nazareth Space Center' to study satellite engineering and astronomy, and is now being promoted between the two countries as they attempt to determine the exact timing of the moon's birth.
After the two nations reached a historic peace deal just last year, this marks the fifteenth agreement in a row since the establishment of peace between the two countries. “It would be wonderful if we could develop a space program that would be a combination of Israel and the Arab world,” SpaceIL’s chairman Morris Kahn told the Global Investment Forum in Dubai on Wednesday. “I would welcome it – if it fits in with the program the Emirates have. They have an ambitious program.”