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The competition heats up (but not in the way you think): NASA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) space agency have signed an agreement to cooperate in space research and technology development.
The agreement covers cooperation and collaboration in space science, operational Earth observation and Earth science, aeronautics, space operations and exploration, education, technology, safety and mission assurance, and other areas with potential benefits to all nations.
The two countries will continue to identify additional areas of mutual interest for possible future cooperative programs or joint activities on Earth, in airspace, or in outer space. These activities may include the joint use of aircraft, scientific instruments aboard spacecraft, ground-based research facilities, spacecraft and space research platforms, as well as ground-based antennas for tracking, telemetry, and data acquisition. Additionally, the two countries will aim to collaborate on the creation and implementation of education and public outreach programs and joint workshops, with the goal of facilitating the exchange of scientific data, scientists, engineers, and views and experiences on relevant regulatory frameworks and standards.
The competition here is not between these big space government programs, who are increasingly teaming up, but between the big space government programs and the profitable and uncontrolled private sector. I fully expect there to be more calls for government supervision and licensing of private space, just to control it better. And what better way to leverage that control but to link every big space program in the world together, so that there are no independent efforts?