Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency, addressing a session on 'Space and planet: Race to save Earth' at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Monday. Image Credit: Anjana Kumar/Gulf News

Dubai: “For all its grandeur potential, space travel and development represents significant technical, operational and financial challenges, which means that this planet that we’re living in will remain home for generations to come,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2023 on the topic “Space and Planet: The universal race to save Earth.”

She said the challenges of space travel and development are not unsurmountable and can be faced with determination and collaboration. “The benefits we stand to gain from the inspiration and development we have created so far outweigh any difficulties we might encounter along the way. By pooling our resources and expertise, we can create sustainable and cost-effective solutions that will allow us to explore the vastness of space and unlock its full potential for the betterment of our world and our future generations,” she said.

The minister said: “We know that space is infinite but space is truly a finite resource. We use a tiny sliver of space around our delicate atmosphere to be able to get the maximum understanding of the evolution of our planets. So we must be more proactive in addressing the challenges posed and understand the impact that they may have.”

She said the world must increase efficiency and direct resources in addressing the most pressing challenges. “Reliable data is imperative to guide our efforts and ensure we can develop effective solutions and achieve the best possible outcomes.”

Al Amiri said international cooperation in the space industry is crucial for attaining sustainable growth. “By joining forces, advanced and emerging nations can break technology barriers, embark on ambitious missions, cultivate partnerships, optimise resource utilisation and work together towards the establishment of adaptive regulations.”

She added: “The UAE Space Agency is working towards space initiatives and programmes to make space more accessible and the data that comes out of the missions more usable across other sectors. “So the onus is on us to work together with other sectors and create the necessary impact,” she noted.

Omran Sharaf, UAE Assistant Minister for Advanced Sciences and Technology Affairs and Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, said: The kind of information that space gives us, the depth of information it gives, the range of information it gives - are all very critical. For example predicting certain environmental disasters and managing the crises.”