NASA Doubles Down On Muslim Outreach, Signs Pact With Arab Emirates

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a pact to cooperate in space with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday at a meeting in Abu Dhabi.

This pact is part of NASA Director Charles Bolden’s effort to “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science.”

The pact encourages cooperation in space, including allowing the UAE joint use of NASA aircraft and spacecraft, access to ground-based research facilities, and placing UAE’s scientific instruments in space.

It is unclear how NASA expects to benefit from the pact, as the UAE’s program is far behind America’s space agency. The UAE launched its first satellite in 2009 and has only scheduled the launch of four satellites. NASA launched its first satellite in 1958 and has put more than 500 satellites into orbit and conducted more than 100 manned missions into space.

“The United Arab Emirates and the United States of America are long-standing allies and have deep economic, cultural and diplomatic ties,” Khalifa Al Romaithi, the chairman of the UAE’s space agency, wrote in a press statement. “We at the UAE Space Agency genuinely welcome the opportunity to collaborate and work with the USA and NASA in the fields of aeronautics, space science, and the peaceful exploration of outer space toward the common goal of fostering the well-being of humankind.

The UAE’s space agency is planning to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, but Bolden’s NASA is likely uninterested, as it has repeatedly cut Mars exploration funds to spend more money on global warming research. Spending on the NASA directorate, which researchs global warming, has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, making it the largest and fastest growing budget of any NASA science program.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly attempted to cut other NASA directorates so money could be redirected to global warming science.

Even global warming alarmist Bill Nye the “Science Guy,” who’s also the CEO of the Planetary Society, has criticized Obama’s attempts to cut NASA’s space exploration and planetary science programs in favor of global warming. NASA’s Mars program has previously held car washes and bake sales to gain political support to maintain funding.

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