The agreement gives NASA access to Israel’s increasingly cutting-edge astronautical technology, likewise stipulating that the two countries can carry out joint missions, exchange personnel, and share facilities. The new partnership, ultimately aimed at involving Israel in future Mars missions, builds upon a 1996 cooperation agreement between NASA and Israel as well as the December 2014 Israel-US Strategic Partnership Act, which states that the US president is authorized to “…share and exchange with Israel research, technology, intelligence, information, equipment, and personnel that will advance U.S. national security interests; and (2) enhance U.S.-Israel scientific cooperation.” Israel’s space program is first established in the early 1960s at Tel Aviv University.
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