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Israel, UAE set for mission to the moon in 2024

Full moon rises over the sky at the evening hours in Ankara, Turkey on June 26, 2021 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]
Full moon rises over the sky at the evening hours in Ankara, Turkey on June 26, 2021 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed an agreement yesterday to cooperate on multiple space projects, including the launch of the "Beresheet 2" mission to the moon scheduled for 2024.

"Beresheet 2," coordinated by Israeli non-governmental organisation SpaceIL, is planning to become the first mission to execute a double landing on the moon, reported i24 News.

"Over the past few months, we have forged a strong and strong relationship with senior UAE officials who seek to establish a deep relationship based on shared values of education, technology and inspiration for the younger generations of the two peoples," said SpaceIL founder Morris Kahn.

The deal was signed in Dubai by Emirati Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chairwoman of UAESA Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri and Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen.

Israel and the UAE will also conduct joint research based on information from the Venus microsatellite launched in 2017, a collaboration between Israel and France, according to the Times of Israel.

The satellite, based on a separate Israel Aerospace Industries satellite, is equipped with a twelve-spectral-bands camera that measures environmental preservation parameters such as vegetation, contamination levels in bodies of water and coastal monitoring. Farkash-Hacohen told the Emirates New Agency that "governments sign agreements but people and collaborations are the ones that truly make peace."

READ: Israel in talks with Comoros to establish normalisation ties

Sarah noted that "sharing knowledge and expertise is a key part of the UAE's vision to create an attractive and competitive national space industry. If you look at the most successful global space programs in history, the common denominator is collaboration."

"Israel has a globally recognised space industry and developing bilateral and multilateral partnerships has never been so important as we embrace a new era of space exploration," she added.

In September 2020, the UAE and Israel signed a US-sponsored deal to normalise their relations. Since then, the two countries have signed dozens of bilateral agreements in various fields, including investment, banking services, tourism and security.

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