India-UAE have special plans for the sky. The two nations have previously worked hard on developing and maintaining bilateral ties in several spheres, however, now, the India-UAE have joined hands in space exploration.
The two nations have set up a joint committee between the Indian Space Research Organization and the UAE Space agency to work on matters related to space and space exploration. The key areas of cooperation to be worked upon have been identified as UAE’s Mars mission, satellite platforms, and remote sensing applications. The agendas were discussed during the first meeting between the two agencies in December 2017.
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ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan said that the areas of cooperation between India and UAE would also include sounding rockets and satellite navigation. He added that ISRO has provided a report to ACAC (Arab Civil Aviation Commission) on the possible usage of GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) sat-nav services. The two nations had previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 on the areas of space research and exploration. Dr. Sivan further added that India has the upper hand in providing its expertise to UAE in the field of space owing to the successful Mars mission in the year 2013.
Planned for a six months trip only, India’s Mars orbiter has surpassed all expectations by being intact even after three years and four months in space. Being the only country to have successfully launched a Mars mission in the first attempt, India is now in a position to help UAE in its Hope orbiter launch scheduled for 2020.
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Apart from Space Exploration, India-UAE Could Also Collaborate On Satellite-Based Rescue Missions
Dr K Sivan spoke of UAE’s vision to build a colony in Mars by the year 2171. He said India’s Dr Vikram Sarabhai had similar visions some 50 years ago and today India is seeing the results of the same. India and UAE could also possibly collaborate on search and rescue missions under the COSPAS-SARSAT agreement. Dr Sivan further added that the Emirati space scientists could also be trained by the Indian space agency thereby making India-UAE relations stronger. India today has almost 240 space cooperation agreements with 28 nations.