Emirates News Agency – With Mars Mission, Japan eyes further cooperation with UAE in space

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By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 12th July, 2020 (WAM) — As the UAE’s space engineers are doing their last leg preparations for launching Mars Mission, Hope Probe, from a Japanese space centre, a top official said Japan would look at further cooperation with the UAE in space sector.

“It is an honour for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, to be part of this historical launch of the Hope mission from our Tanegashima Space Centre by the H-IIA Launch vehicle,” Yasuo Ishii, Vice President of JAXA, said in a statement issued to Emirates News Agency, WAM, on Sunday.

In his current capacity, Ishii has been responsible for crucial domains at JAXA, including strategic planning and management, public affairs, international relations and research.

He congratulated the UAE for all the efforts that have been put into realising the extraordinary mission.

“We look forward to the successful launch. We look forward to promoting further cooperation with the UAE in space activities,” the JAXA official said.

The Hope Probe is set to lift off on 15th July 2020 at 00:51:27 UAE time. The spacecraft was encapsulated within the payload fairing last week, ahead of its lift-off.

All testing and checks leading to the full launch and mission-readiness are currently being carried out and the capsule has been positioned securely onto the rocket, according to the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC.

Meanwhile, a top Japanese diplomat said the UAE’s Mars Mission shows that new players dare to challenge this genuine frontier – Mars exploration – for humankind, which used to be under the monopoly of superpowers.

“Still, it is a daunting task. Integrating all the related technologies, both mature and emerging, into a single mission architecture requires excellent talents, guts and skills,” pointed out Akihiko Nakajima, the Japanese Ambassador to the UAE.

“In this respect, I would sincerely respect and express my admiration to relevant organisations and space engineers of the UAE for their dedication to realise this grand endeavour,” he said.

“The UAE’s strong will and commitment are what many other countries should look up to, including our country. It convincingly demonstrates the top-level programme and project management skills, and outstanding leadership of this country,” the envoy noted.

The diplomat finds a window of opportunities for further bilateral cooperation between Japan and the UAE to meet many global challenges, including climate change and the current health situation.

“I expect this project to symbolise the herald of the future, thus together we can contribute to the international community,” Nakajima said.

The ambassador expressed his optimism that the Hope Probe would be able to “instill hope in the mind of every child in the world.”

WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla

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