Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aerospace: Plans for Arab space agency on hold

Trade Arabia News Service reports plans to establish an Arab space agency have stalled, it has emerged. The proposal was first mooted in August 2007 but is yet to make any significant progress, said Bahrain Astronomical Society head Dr Shawqi Al Dallal.

'We are still in the same situation,' he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News on the 40th anniversary of America's successful Apollo 11 moon landing mission yesterday.

'We have to hold talks to discuss space agency plans, but nobody has the time,' he said.

He was unclear about specific activities an Arab space agency might undertake but said the region was satisfied to play the role of an observer in regard to international space exploration.

Dr Al Dallal delivered a lecture to mark the anniversary of the iconic moon landing event at the Youth Innovation Centre in Umm Al Hassam last night.

He recalled how on July 20 1967, as a 19-year-old student, he had been holding a radio on the balcony of his house and following the coverage intently.

He went on to speak about space travel and astronomy and how the subject has changed since the US mission to the moon.-TradeArabia News Service
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