The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) and the UK Space Agency have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space. It is aimed at providing a framework for cooperation in space activities between both countries.
Saudi Space Commission (SSC) is a Saudi independent government entity established by royal order on December 27, 2018. The commission is chaired by HE Eng. Abdullah Alswaha Minister of Communications and Information Technology.
The United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) is an executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for the UK’s civil space programme. It was established on 1 April 2010 by replacing the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and took over responsibility for government policy and key budgets for space exploration. It represents the United Kingdom in all negotiations on space matters.
The MoU included reviewing areas of common interest in the peaceful uses of space and facilitating the exchange of information and technologies.
It also included individuals working in related fields on both sides to enhance cooperation in space and its technologies.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Space Commission Eng. Abdullah Bin Amer Al-Swaha signed the MoU on behalf of SSC and on behalf of the UK the MoU was signed by the UK Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Member of the British Parliament Dr. Kwasi Kwarteng.
In 2021, SSC and the UK discussed ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of the space economy by encouraging private sector participation. The MoU also aims to develop bilateral cooperation in building capabilities in space science and engineering and enhance the role of scientific missions and manned flight programmes.
This is apart from developing cooperation in Earth observation, space application data, and manufacturing and launching satellites.
The signing of the memorandum happens due to SSC’s efforts to localize technologies and industries and the sustainability of qualitative space systems in the Kingdom, as per the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s endeavour to develop the space sector and its technologies.
The MoU implies the willingness of both countries to continue cooperation in various fields and sectors and will contribute to strengthening the role of the economic and technical space sectors and the status of the two sides at the regional and international levels.