JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel and the United Arab Emirates are going to the moon together.
The two nations signed an agreement in Dubai on Wednesday to collaborate on several space missions, including “Beresheet2,” Israel’s second attempt at landing on the moon.
The spacecraft will reportedly carry a satellite designed by students in both countries that will help track the precise location of the moon. The Beresheet2 spacecraft is set to take off in 2024.
The first Beresheet mission tried to reach the moon in 2019 and was almost successful until Israeli scientists lost contact with the spacecraft at the last moments and it crash-landed on the moon. This time, both countries hope to plant their flags on the moon side-by-side after a successful landing.
Israel and the UAE will also conduct joint research based on information collected from the “VENUS” satellite launched by Israel and France in 2017.
"Now we want Emirates to join this project. It will be a very interesting project with the collaboration of three countries,” Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen told the Emirates News Agency.
She explained that the data from the satellite will help with agriculture and water monitoring among other things.
"All these areas are so important for both countries. We are dealing with challenges of agriculture in a desert climate in the midst of global climate crisis. I hope this will benefit all of us," Farkash-Hacohen said.
Israel and the UAE’s space collaboration is the latest sign of blossoming ties between the two countries after they normalized relations last year with the historic Abraham Accords. Soon after, Israel normalized ties with Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with ambassadors of Bahrain and the UAE, and discussed expanding ties between the countries, regional cooperation, and strengthening the Abraham Accords.
“The stronger the bond between our countries, the stronger the security and stability of the entire region.
UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also invited Bennett for his first official visit to the Gulf State.