The Ministry of Science and ICT (“MSIT”; Minister Lee Jong-Ho) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (“UAESA”; Chair Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri) announced that they signed an Arrangement on January 15, 2023, in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates, to amend the MOU between the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the UAE Space Agency regarding cooperation in the exploration and use of space for peaceful purposes signed on January 31, 2017.
The two countries' ministers in charge of space development signed the arrangement to amend the MOU, after the summit meeting on the occasion of President Yoon's visit to the UAE. The MOU was amended to expand bilateral cooperation, following the recent announcement of Implementation Plan for Future Space Economy and the Fourth Master Plan for Space Development.
The amended MOU signed by the two Ministers expands the scope of cooperation from the existing one, which included Space science, technology and applications; Exchange of views on space policy; law and regulations, adding Human capital development in the space field and related areas; Space exploration for peaceful purposes; Satellite Communication; Satellite navigation; Earth observation; In-space scientific and technological experimentation and demonstration; Exchange of space data; Ground network infrastructure utilization; Launch and launch services; Space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (TSM).
The latest developments in space in both countries were reflected in the MOU, which was amended to expand the scope of cooperation and further boost cooperation in areas such as space exploration, satellite navigation and launch services. It intends to leverage upon each other's strengths. That is, greater synergies will be created if the two sides strengthen joint research and exchange information in space exploration and mars exploration, areas that the UAE has strength in, and if the UAE can utilize Korea's advanced satellite development technologies and launch services.
The UAE's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) plans to send a lunar rover (weighing 30kg) to the Moon in 2026, and one of Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI)'s payload is being considered as one of the candidate payloads. Discussion is also underway between the MBRSC and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to cooperate on the space traffic management to be prepared for the age of space economy. It is expected that with the amendment to the MOU, the ongoing bilateral cooperation in space development will gain further traction, and diverse future-oriented cooperation agendas will be identified.
Minister Lee Jong-Ho of the MSIT said, “The UAE's stunning development in space, achieved in a relatively short period of time, is very impressive. Given that our two countries clearly have distinct characteristics and strengths in space development, we expect that Korea and the UAE can become strategic partners to one another in our efforts to realize the space economy, especially with the amendment of the MOU that we sign today.”
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