The government Wednesday gave nod for signing an MoU between Isro and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), a move that will lead to setting up a Joint Working Group between the two agencies and help in cooperation in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The decision to sign the memorandum of understanding was taken by the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will help in for cooperation in the exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes, especially in the field to study Mars.
The MoU would result in setting up a Joint Working Group with members from Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and UAESA, which will further chalk out a plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing it.
Promoting space cooperation between India and the UAE was highlighted during Modi's visit to the UAE in August 2015 and also at the 11th meeting of India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation held at New Delhi in September 2015.
With Isro achieving success on its Mars Orbiter Mission (MoM) in its maiden attempt, the UAE also sought India's cooperation for its first inter-planetary expedition, which is slated to launched in 2020.
Accordingly, Isro and UAESA, considering their mutual interest in expanding the applications of space technology for peaceful purposes signed a MoU in New Delhi on February 11, 2016.
The Emirates Mars Mission orbiter is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. The rocket is expected to blast off from the Earth during a brief "launch window" in July 2020 and is set to arrive at Mars in 2021. The move is also remarkable as the UAE will be the only Gulf nation to have embarked on such ambitious project.
The Cabinet also granted ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India's Ministry of Tourism and Maldives's Ministry of Tourism for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.
The MoU with Maldives will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.