Dubai - Two milestone events of 1971 the successful flight
of Apollo 14 in February, and the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in
December of that year connected for the first time today at the biennial Dubai
Led by Kallman Worldwide, organizer of
the show’s U.S. International Pavilion, a contingent of American aerospace
companies gathered in the Pavilion Meeting Point Executive Lounge to present an
American flag flown on that lunar mission as a gift to the new UAE Space
Agency. The agency was launched in 2014 with plans for a future mission to
Mars, and last month became the first Arab nation to join the International
Space Exploration Coordination Group.
Dr. Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi,
Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, and Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, UAE Space Agency
Director General, attended to accept the historic 6 x 4-inch flag, which was
carried aboard the Apollo 14 Command Module "Kitty Hawk" and later
signed by the mission’s Lunar Module Pilot, Edgar Mitchell.
The flag was presented in a
custom-designed shadow box, displayed with an Apollo 14 mission patch and a
photo of Mitchell on the surface of the Moon, taken by mission Commander Alan
B. Shepherd. The display was inscribed: "In the spirit of innovation,
exploration and discovery that unites all mankind, we present this flag of the
United States, flown to the Moon on Apollo 14, January 31 - February 9, 1971,
to the U.A.E. Space Agency, with sincere best wishes for success."
The gift was signed below the inscription
and presented with Kallman by industry leaders Boeing, Enterprise Florida,
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Pratt &
Whitney and Raytheon. A select group of U.S. International Pavilion exhibitors
at the Dubai Airshow also supported the presentation. All presenters were
either original Apollo program contractors, direct industry descendants of
those contractors or are presently involved in and supporting space exploration
around the world.
"From pilot-to-pilot, generation-to-generation,
aviators, and especially space explorers, share a mission to further the
reaches of science. Apollo had extraordinary influence on the aerospace
industry, and the presenters of this flag carry the program’s ‘DNA’ as they
continue to forge our future," said Kallman Worldwide President and CEO,
Tom Kallman. "Nation-to-nation, people-to-people, we’re proud to present
this gift as a symbol of goodwill and partnership to the U.A.E. Space Agency
and the new generation of pioneers and professionals who will engineer its
vision to reality."
Dr. Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi,
Chairman of the U.A.E. Space Agency said: "We are delighted and honored by
this gesture of goodwill, and we thank the American aerospace companies and
Kallman Worldwide for such a symbolic and meaningful gift. The late Sheikh
Zayed met with some of the Apollo teams in the ‘70s, and always had a vision
for the UAE to enter into the space industry. We are proud today to be present
here with a fully-fledged Space Agency welcoming the world’s leading aerospace
organizations to the UAE for the Dubai Airshow."
Dr. Al Ahbabi added: "It has been
great to meet with the American aerospace companies here at the Dubai Airshow.
We thank them for the gift, and enjoy the opportunity to further build our
relationships with fellow industry players. We share strong connections between
the two countries, and we believe that through working together and cooperating
we will exchange best practices and learn from each other as we all grow and develop
within the sector."
Since its founding in 1986 as
"Arab Air" the Dubai Airshow has become recognized as one of the
world’s premier aerospace and defense industry events, and is the most
comprehensive of its type in the region. The 2015 edition is expecting over
1,100 exhibitors and 65,000 trade visitors to DWC, Dubai Airshow site.
Michele van Akelijen, Managing Director
of Dubai Airshow organizer F&E Aerospace, said, "The Dubai Airshow has
always been the place for the aerospace industry to meet, and it is wonderful
to see this support for the U.A.E. Space Agency from U.S. International
Pavilion organizers Kallman Worldwide." She continued, "It’s an
exciting time for the aerospace industry, particularly for space, with projects
like the Mission to Mars gaining worldwide attention."