Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 
Koichi Wakata. (Photo supplied)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 

Japanese astronaut welcomes UAE space industry growth 
  • Koichi Wakata believes KhalifaSat and planned launch of a Mars mission represent exciting advances in UAE space technology
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the UAE Space Agency seek to strengthen cooperation in exploration

A Japanese astronaut has welcomed advances in the UAE’s space industry following the launch of KhalifaSat.

It was the first satellite to be fully engineered and built in the UAE and was launched into space from an island south of Japan’s mainland in 2018, a milestone for Arab space program.  

The launch was followed by Hazza Al-Mansoori becoming the first Arab to journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

Japanese astronaut and member of the UAE’s space advisory committee, Koichi Wakata, said that the launch of KhalifaSat on the Mitsubishi H2A rocket and the expected launch of the Mars Mission represented exciting advances in space technology.

“It’s amazing to see the steady growth in space activities, and young people in the UAE are fascinated with science and technology,” Wakata told Arab News. “I was very excited to ask this year about Al-Mansoori, the first Emirates astronaut. He conducted an educational event in the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the ISS. I’m very happy Japan is part of the development in space technology in the UAE.”

Al-Mansoori conducted 16 scientific experiments in cooperation with international space agencies, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

In 2016, JAXA and the UAE Space Agency signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in space exploration for peaceful scientific purposes.