UAE Space Agency concludes its participation in the International Astronautical Congress 2019

30 October 2019

The UAE Space Agency has participated in the 70th International Astronautical Congress 2019 (IAC) held under the theme of “Space: The Power of the Past, the Promise of the Future,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of a feat once thought impossible; humans walking on the moon.

The congress was held between 21-25 October in Washington D.C., and brought together global space leaders to commemorate the ‘giant leap for mankind’ and celebrate the various international accomplishments and partnerships in space exploration.

Through participating in the IAC as a Gold Sponsor, the UAE Space Agency sought to strengthen its ties with the international space community and enhance its relationships with global space entities. In addition, the Agency showcased the UAE’s role, achievements and impact on space science and technology, as well as reiterating its commitment to supporting the development of the global space industry.

During the congress, the Agency received the International Astronautical Federation’s (IAF) Excellence in 3G Diversity Award, which recognized the Agency’s long-standing commitment to supporting geographical, generational and gender diversity within the space sector.

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of UAE Space Agency, participated in the International Space Education Board’s (ISEB) Heads of Agency (HOA) Interactive Session with students. During the session, he discussed space education, with a particular focus on the establishment of integrated educational and scientific programs that are designed to prepare and develop the capabilities of future generations. His Excellency also participated in a moon exploration meeting with the heads of other space agencies, which was held on the sidelines of the congress.

Commenting on the Agency’s participation, H.E. Dr. Al Falasi said: “The IAC is one of the most significant international events in the space industry and it represents a valuable opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise with the global space community. It also provided us with a global platform from which to showcase the UAE space sector’s latest developments, upcoming projects and potential opportunities for future cooperation and collaboration with international space agencies and key industry players.”

“We are proud to be the winners of the Excellence in 3G Diversity Award, which is a true testament to the UAE’s growing presence in the global space community and commitment to supporting diversity across a wide range of sectors and industries. We are looking forward to hosting the 71st edition of IAC in Dubai next year,” added H.E. Dr. Al Falasi.

The UAE Space Agency also participated for the second consecutive year in the Space Generation Congress (SGC), which is held as a secondary event at the IAC, in addition to sponsoring and organizing a workshop titled “Innovation in Mars Exploration Missions.” Participants included renowned students and professionals from ten countries who submitted proposals to be reviewed and presented to the UN and Space Generation Council.

The Agency also sponsored five promising students from the UAE to attend the ISEB and SGC sessions. The students participated in several events sponsored by the Council and collaborated with schoolchildren from the USA who attended the sessions. The Emirati students inspired and trained the young attendees and helped them perform a number of scientific experiments.

In advance of the congress, a team of engineers and scientists from the UAE Space Agency submitted 14 academic papers on topics including the National Space Strategy 2030, Space Investment Plan and the new Space Law. These papers also discussed subjects such as foreseeing the future of the space industry, enhancing the role of space as a driver for global socio-economic development, the role of the UAE Space Agency’s policies in addressing challenges of space security, measuring radiation on board satellites, lunar power plants, innovative training opportunities and thermal assessment systems for pipes used in CubeSat applications. Also presented by the Agency’s experts was a paper discussing national legislation related to space activities in emerging countries in the space sector, a paper discussing the means to empower and inspire students to reach for the stars and a paper discussing the agency’s efforts to raise awareness about the UAE space sector.

H.E. Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, gave a speech during the first session of the congress in which he discussed the UAE’s ambitious space program, the latest developments of the UAE’s national space sector and its future projects. H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi also participated in a panel discussion with the heads of other emerging space agencies, held on the sidelines of the IAC. During this session, he discussed the UAE’s national space program and the UAE’s concerted efforts and role in the establishment of the Arab Space Cooperation Group.

H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi said: “The UAE Space Agency’s participation in IAC 2019 reaffirms our commitment to supporting the growth of the global space, and is an opportunity for us to share our experience and knowledge with international experts and decision makers.”

“We were able to highlight the role of the UAE’s space sector on the global stage through its achievements, accelerated growth, national capabilities and its contribution to developing solutions to the world’s most pressing socio-economic challenges. We are looking forward to revisiting these important subjects during the 71st edition of the IAC in Dubai next year,” added H.E. Dr. Eng. Al Ahbabi.

The UAE Space Agency pavilion at the exhibit was visited by several VIPs and heads of global space agencies who viewed the latest developments, achievements, future plans and projects of the UAE’s space sector. They praised the swift development and growth of the UAE’s space sector.

Alongside the IAC, the delegation from the UAE Space Agency hosted several meetings to discuss the latest developments in the industry and areas of potential future collaboration. The meetings were held with representatives from NASA, the UK Space Agency, the Australian Space Agency, South African Space Agency, South Australian Space Agency, German, Korean and Canadian Space Agencies and the Russian Space Agency “Roscosmos”. In addition, the Agency’s delegation attended several meetings with officials, experts and decision makers to exchange knowledge and information.

Organized by the IAF, the IAC is the largest space event in the world. The UAE Space Agency’s participation in IAC 2019 follows Dubai’s selection to host the 71st edition of the global event next year. The event will be held in October 2020, with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre highlighting the UAE’s emergence as a key player in the global space industry.