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The historic space agreement: the Emirates will participate in "Bereshit 2" and will be joined by Venus

Alongside the agreement, the countries also signed cooperation documents in relation to specific projects in which cooperation was formed: in the Genesis 2 mission and joint and groundbreaking scientific research based on data from the Israeli-French Venus satellite. In addition, the two countries are promoting a Levin "Loner-Set" project with the participation of Arab and Jewish students from both countries

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Parkash-HaCohen and the Minister of Science of the United Arab Emirates Sara Al Amiri at the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement in space. Photography courtesy of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Parkash-HaCohen and the Minister of Science of the United Arab Emirates Sara Al Amiri at the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement in space. Photography courtesy of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology

Today, Wednesday (October 20.10), at the Expo in Dubai, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Parkash-HaCohen, and the Minister of Advanced Technologies of the United Arab Emirates, Sara Al Amiri, signed the first historic cooperation agreement in the field of space between the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

The agreement signed today, following the peace treaty between the countries, will lead to joint projects in the field of space, including the development of space technologies, satellites, systems for space exploration (robotics, vehicles and optical systems), the space industry, space studies, educational programs and more.

As we know, the United Arab Emirates has managed to achieve a prominent presence in space, with the highlight being the Hope spacecraft orbiting the Mars and studies its atmosphere.

The signing was not only on a framework agreement between the countries for cooperation between the two space agencies, but also on the documents of understanding in relation to specific projects that are already being promoted, the fruit of the work of the last months during the Corona period between the two agencies:

  • First international cooperation in the Genesis 2 project - This is the signing of the first international agreement between countries on the Genesis 2 mission, which will promote joint activities of the Israeli Space Agency and its counterpart in the Emirates. The cooperation will make the Genesis 2 mission the first scientific-technological project that will create a common history for both nations: the flags of Israel and the Emirates on the moon. It is about creating a model for cooperation between the two nations in many aspects, technological, scientific and educational, which will deepen the relationship between the countries and serve as an inspiration for further cooperation between Israelis and all Arab countries. The Genesis 2 spacecraft will become a joint project between Israel and the Emirates in the aspects of technology, science and production. The project will have a significant educational impact for the children of both countries.
  • A joint venture that joins the emirates in research using the Venus satellite - which is currently already taking place between France and Israel. Ground-breaking joint scientific research based on data from the Israeli-French "Venus" satellite - the Israel Space Agency together with the Emirates Space Agency will publish a call for joint research by researchers from the two countries. The joint research, which will be based on the data from the Venus satellite, will examine phenomena related to the Earth's resources, precision agriculture, desertification, monitoring of water bodies, etc. These are issues that are at the core of international research dealing with dealing with the global climate crisis.

Venus satellite. It is a joint venture of the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) and the French Space Agency (CNES). The tiny satellite is equipped with a special camera that can pick up details on the Earth's surface at 12 wavelengths, including details that are not visible to the eye. He photographs fixed areas in Israel and around the world and will provide researchers with dozens of images every day, each of which will cover approximately 730 square kilometers. The satellite orbit allows a return time of once every two days to photograph the same areas and from the same viewing angle. Venus will circle the Earth 29 times in 48 hours and provide images once every two days while returning to exactly the same shooting angle, which will allow frequent changes in vegetation, soil, beaches, inland bodies of water and the atmosphere to be detected. The combination of these three features is unique to Venus, and there is currently no satellite in space that contains them all together. These features give it an advantage over other environmental satellites currently operating in space.

The inclusion of the Emirates in the Venus satellite project responds to common areas of interest between the Emirates and Israel in the fields of agriculture, the desert, water monitoring and issues of climate change - issues common to Israel and the Emirates.

It should also be noted that as part of the cooperation with the United Arab Emirates in the field of space, which is led by the Israel Space Agency, work teams between the two countries are being promoted to formulate a project related to determining the exact timing of the birth of the moon. The project began as an educational initiative of the Space Center in Nazareth to study satellite engineering and astronomy for Arab and Jewish students and has the potential to influence various issues related to the birth of the moon. The project has first-rate technological and educational derivatives. This is a joint regional project that has the potential to strengthen the relationship between the peoples in the region. The cooperation between the countries that is being forged these days illustrates the extensive potential that exists in space. The project will probably be called the "Lunar-Sat" project and is expected to connect Arab and Jewish students between the two countries. All of these will build and launch a satellite together (this is a project initiated and led by the Ministry of Science and with the joint financial support of the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Social Equality and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation).

The signing ceremony for the cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, the fifteenth agreement in number since the establishment of peace between the countries, was held in the midst of Space Week at the Expo 2020 exhibition in Dubai. As part of Space Week, the Israeli Space Agency will hold a trilateral event at the Israel Pavilion, in collaboration with the French Space Agency (CNES) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Venus and Shalom satellites will be presented at the event. The Shalom project, which is shared with the Italian Space Agency, includes a commercial satellite based on leading technologies in the field of observation and is intended to contribute to dealing with the challenges of climate change, the environment and precision agriculture. Shalom's products have the potential to have a global impact, such as the development of applications for monitoring changes in crops, dealing with the challenges of contamination from water reservoirs, and more.

As part of the political visit of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Farkash-HaCohen, the Minister met the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Businesses, Dr. Ahmed Belhol Al-Flasi, whom she met as part of her position as Minister of Tourism. In light of the minister's preoccupation with the Israeli high-tech crisis, the two ministers discussed Amrat's attempt to address the issue. The minister presented to her the government plans and measures that encourage the arrival of quality personnel in the fields of technology and high-tech by the emirates and discussed the issues of the Corona virus and its challenges. The two agreed to continue dialogue between the parties.

The Minister also met the Minister of High Technologies, Mrs. Sarah El Amiri, in preparation for the signing of the agreement.

Following the visit to Dubai, the Minister will also meet the CEO of the Dubai Future Fund, as well as the heads of the technology and space industries in Dubai.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Orit Parkash-HaCohen: "Governments sign agreements, but people make the peace! I welcome the privilege I was given to come after the Abraham Accords to Dubai and sign important cooperation agreements between Israel and the Emirates. Agreements between the space agencies of the two countries, the Genesis 2 project, the Venus satellite project and finally the "Luna-Sat" project that will connect Israeli Arab students and the Emirates. The field of space is not only the exploration of the moon, but a leader in life-changing technology in the field of climate, precision agriculture, water and desert challenges in the world. I am happy to have found in the Minister of Advanced Technologies, Sara Al-Amiri, a loyal partner in the concept that connects us both and according to which technological excellence is an economic lever but no less important than that is a first-class educational and social tool that connects people and nations. I also thank Minister El Plassi for an enlightening discussion on the issue of personnel in the hi-tech industry and to learn from his extensive experience. I will continue to work to strengthen the thriving space and high-tech industry in Israel, to create opportunities for fruitful collaborations in all fields of innovation, science and technology and to strengthen the relationship between the countries."

Brigadier General (Ret.) Uri Oron, Director of the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology: "Upon assuming the position of director of the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, I am proud to be a partner in a series of innovative and highly valuable scientific, technological and educational collaborations with the Emirates Space Agency. I intend to harness all my experience to strengthen the space field in general and the Israel Space Agency in particular as an economic lever for the state and Israeli society as a whole on all levels."

Maurice Kahn: "Over the past few months, we have formed a courageous and strong relationship with senior officials in the United Arab Emirates who strive to establish a deep relationship based on shared values ​​of education, technology and inspiration for the young generations of both nations. We are proud to be the first project that will pave the way for further historic moves as a result of the Abraham Accords, we are approaching to work on the details so that the common path will weave skin and tendons and we will soon be able to share with the public as well"

Shimon Sharid CEO SpaceIL stated: “SpaceIL enjoined Digla to promote science and scientific education at the regional and global level, and in the process also contribute to normalization processes and regional peace through cooperation with peace-seeking and science- and space-seeking countries. We are happy to cooperate with the Emirati Space Agency, hand in hand with the Ministry of Science and the Israeli Space Agency"

The "Genesis 2" mission is planned to break several records in world space history, among them: a double landing on the moon in one mission; landing on the far side of the moon (to date only China has managed to land there); The landers (attached to the mother spacecraft) will be the smallest spacecraft ever launched into space (each of them weighs 120 kg with fuel and 60 kg without fuel); In addition, the mother spacecraft is designed for a long-term mission of about 5 years and will be a platform for scientific educational activity in Israel and around the world, through a remote connection, which will allow students from different countries to participate in scientific research in deep space.

On the occasion of the collaboration, children from the Jewish community in Dubai and a kindergarten from Ramat Gan, drew space paintings as part of an activity dealing with space that was held by the SpaceIL association in Dubai and Israel. In the activity, the children shared their dream of reaching space and their private dreams. They received an explanation of the parts of the spaceship and basic concepts in the field of space and of course the story of the spaceship's journey "Bereshit". What moved the children especially, was the promise that some of their drawings would be added to the Genesis 2 task.

SpaceIL It is a non-profit organization established by three founders: Yariv Bash, Kafir Demari and Yonathan Weintraub. The association works to promote missions in space through advanced science and education and inspiration in the fields of technology and science. The association has hundreds of volunteers and has managed to touch over a million children in years of activity. In April 2019, it became the first private entity to reach the moon as part of the Berashit mission, thereby positioning Israel as the seventh country to reach lunar orbit. If not for the crash, Israel could also become the fourth country to land on the moon.

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