UAE Space Agency Joins The International Astronautical Federation

29 September 2016

The UAE Space Agency has taken a further step towards establishing itself as a leader within the international space exploration community by joining the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). The IAF is a prominent space advocacy organization established in 1951 to promote dialogue between scientists around the world and encourage international space cooperation.

Since its foundation the Agency has successfully established relationships with multiple global space industry organizations and agencies that have a common vision for space exploration. This includes signing MoU’s with NASA and the national space agencies of France, Russia, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom, among others.

Further highlighting the global recognition received by the UAE space program, the UAE Space Agency was also successful in gaining membership to the International Space Exploration Coordination Group and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), making the UAE the first Arab country to join the former.

The UAE Space Agency is currently participating in the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), organized by the IAF and taking place at the Expo Guadalajara in Mexico. The Agency has been sharing its experiences, challenges, and insights in space research, technology, education, and regulation.

The IAF’s more than 300 members consist of representatives from more than 66 countries.  The members come from a variety of organizations including, space agencies, companies, universities, professional associations, government bodies, and institutes. The IAF has close ties with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), with whom the IAF organizes the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

His Excellency Dr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Romaithi, Chairman of UAE Space Agency, said: “Joining the International Astronautical Federation is in line with our efforts to strengthening the UAE’s presence within the global space sector and establishing international relations with key players in the industry, which are central elements to the UAE Space Agency’s strategy.”

“The UAE Space Agency recognizes the importance of international collaboration in the field of peaceful exploration of outer space, as this field is considered part of humankind’s common heritage. It is extremely important in our view for all competent entities in this field to work together towards the common goal of enhancing the welfare of humanity," added Al Romaithi.

The IAF seeks to promote cooperation by providing collaborative platforms for experts from space agencies, industry and research; advance international development by bringing together experts from experienced and emerging space nations; share knowledge by making use of the IAF’s many well-established channels to disseminate information within its global network and wider space community; recognize achievements through its prestigious awards that are presented annually to individuals and groups; prepare the workforce of tomorrow through its activities which target students and young professionals; and raise awareness through its global network and publications to help promote the public appreciation of space activities worldwide.

More than 40 administrative and technical committees support the IAF in its mission to advance knowledge about space and to foster the development of space assets by facilitating global cooperation. The IAF’s annual International Astronautical Congress brings the organization’s multidisciplinary and international network to life.

His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of UAE Space Agency, said: “Since its founding, the UAE Space Agency has been emphasizing the importance of cooperating and collaborating with international partners in the fields of space science and the peaceful exploration of outer space. Membership in the IAF opens the door to the creation of a wide range of beneficial programs and activities involving numerous organizations from around the world.”