Last Updated on January 4, 2024 by Saad Farooq
Many nations have been funding space exploration for a long time. You might not think of Middle Eastern nations when you hear about space exploration. Below, we’ll examine this region’s space universe.
The Global Space Industry
In space exploration, nations like China, Russia, France, and the United States are dominating the space. These countries have large budgets and resources for discovering and exploring space. Recently, more countries like South Korean and even Middle Eastern countries are researching and launching satellites in space. There have been partnerships between Middle Eastern governments and private initiatives to attain a common goal of breaking new ground in the economic and scientific facets of the space industry.
Milestones of the Space Industry in the Middle East
The space sector, which is developing quickly in the Middle East, has made a number of excellent achievements.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates set up the UAE Space Agency in 2014 to oversee and advance its space operations. Since then, the nation has completed many significant projects. UAE established a $817 million fund in 2022 to help its space sector. This fund was set up to create a network of strong radar imaging satellites.
Also, it launched the Rashid Rover in July 2020. Rashid Rover started its lunar journey in December 2022. Also, it was the fifth country in the world and the first Arab country to get to Mars. This happened early in 2021. In addition, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre has launched four satellites.
Saudi Arabia is putting a lot of effort into growing its space sector. The country had $2.1 billion in investments in 2020 to support its space program. It was a key player in the historic launch of the first Arab satellite by Arabsat in 1985. Arabsat was founded under the Arab League’s auspices. Saudi Arabia owns a sizable majority of the company. Its primary offices are in Riyadh. It provides services across the Middle East and North Africa.
The Kingdom has various organizations overseeing its space-related activities. These organizations include the Communications, Space, and Technology Commission (CST), the Supreme Space Council, and the Saudi Space Commission.
Saudi Arabia has launched programs like the Saudi Space Accelerator Program and the CST’s Space Entrepreneurship Alliance. These programs aim to promote innovation and foster cooperation between public and commercial enterprises.
The country has partnered with Axiom Space to send two astronauts to the International Space Station in the second quarter of 2023.
Other Middle Eastern Nations
Not only that, but other Middle Eastern nations are vigorously pursuing their space goals. Plans are in place for Kuwait to create and launch a second satellite after the country’s first satellite was launched successfully in January 2023. Oman recently showed interest in entering the space and satellite industries by announcing plans to build its spaceport. Also, Israel has a longstanding space program. It is one of the seven countries worldwide that can build and launch satellites on its own.
Middle Eastern countries are looking to compete globally in the space world. We see countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Israel, etc., investing heavily in the industry.
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