NASA and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency have agreed to collaborate on space exploration and human spaceflight missions under a new arrangement.
The agreement allows the two agencies to conduct research in space biology, physical sciences and human research at UAE’s Mars Scientific City, NASA said Thursday.
The IA also includes training UAE astronauts, as well as allowing the Middle Eastern nation to access the International Space Station and participate in lunar exploration operations.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained that the partnership comes as the American space agency plans to relaunch crewed missions to the moon for long-term exploration and utilization.
He added that UAE is expanding its capabilities on Earth and in space with initiatives such as the Emirates Mars Mission, which is scheduled for launch in 2020.
The IA follows a framework agreement that the two agencies signed in 2016 to collaborate on ground-based and sub-orbital research, research and flight activities in low-Earth orbit and human and robotic exploration on the moon, among other things.