The final affrontier: UAE, Israel to probe depth of normalisation with joint lunar launch

The final affrontier: UAE, Israel to probe depth of normalisation with joint lunar launch
2 min read
21 October, 2021
Israel and the UAE are due to sign an agreement to collaborate on space projects, including the launch of a lunar lander in 2024.
The UAE will be involved in the launch of Israel's new Beresheet lunar lander [Getty File Image]

Israel and the UAE have agreed to collaborate on the launch of a moon landing craft, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday.

The private Israeli company SpaceIL announced last year that it had begun work on the Beresheet 2 lunar lander and the UAE will be involved in its launch, which will take place in 2024.

Israeli Science, Technology, and Space Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen and the UAE Advanced Technologies Minister Sara El Amiri are due to sign an agreement to cooperate on space projects at the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 fair, Haaretz said.

The agreement includes projects to develop satellites, new space technologies, robotics, vehicles, and research systems.

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The Beresheet 1 lander, which was launched in 2019, failed to reach the moon and crashed. Beresheet 2 is looking to avoid the same fate, aiming to be the first privately launched craft to land on the moon.

The craft will carry out scientific experiments on the lunar surface.

Israel and the UAE agreed to normalise relations in 2020, under the US-sponsored Abraham Accords. Three other Arab countries - Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco - also announced that they would normalise relations with Israel that year.

Since then the UAE and Israel have signed a dizzying array of agreements in fields ranging from banking to filmmaking.

Palestinians have condemned the Abraham Accords, saying that they reward Israel while it continues to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip. Opinion surveys have also shown overwhelming public disapproval in Arab countries.