The respective space agencies of Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement on Wednesday, in which both countries will work together on various projects, including the Beresheet 2 mission to the moon.
The Israel Space Agency and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance cooperation in scientific research, space exploration and knowledge transfer to facilitate further economic growth and human progress. Israel and the United Arab Emirates have become increasingly close in several different fields since the signing of the 2020 Abraham Accords.
Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and President of the UAE Space Agency, recently signed the agreement with MK Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Israel’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology during Dubai’s delayed Expo 2020 Space Week.
In addition to the state level, a delegation of representatives from the Israeli non-governmental organization SpaceIL, led by businessman and philanthropist Morris Kahn along with SpaceIL CEO Shimon Sarid, and Daphna Jackson, director and CEO of the Kahn Foundation, said a series of meetings with senior Emirati officials. officials to discuss the principles of cooperation. One of the companies considering investing in the lunar mission is Abu Dhabi-based Group42, an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company that develops scalable solutions.
SpaceIL said in a statement that the agreement with the UAE “created a model of cooperation between the two peoples in many aspects – technological, scientific and educational – that will deepen the connection between the countries and serve as an inspiration for further cooperation between Israel and others. countries. Arabian countries.”
The Beresheet 2 mission is planned to break several records in world space history including: a double moon landing on one mission; Landing on the opposite side of the moon (to date only China has managed to land there), according to a SpaceIL statement.
The landings (adjacent to the main ship) will be the smallest spacecraft ever launched into space (each weighing 120 kg, half of which is fuel); In addition, the mothership is scheduled for a long-term mission of about 5 years and will be a platform for science education activities in Israel and around the world, via remote connection, allowing students from different countries to participate in scientific investigations. in deep space. This includes young schoolchildren who will participate in the part of the mission focused on continuous communication with the orbiter, which plans to orbit the moon over a period of two to five years.
“In recent months, we have forged a strong relationship with senior UAE officials who seek to establish a deep relationship based on our shared values of education and technology, and hope to inspire the younger generations in both countries. We are proud to be the first project to pave the way for future historic missions. Since the Abrahamic Accords, we have been working through the details so that we can merge our common paths, ”said Kahn, who invested a considerable sum of $ 40 million in the previous lunar mission, which failed spectacularly in the last moments, when Beresheet 1 was launched. crashed against the surface of the moon.