The UAE Federation surprised the vast majority of the international space community by signing a cooperation agreement with Beijing to host its Rashid 2 spacecraft on the Chinese Chang’e-7 mission.which is scheduled to fly to the moon and land on its surface in 2026.
The first bilateral space agreement between China and the UAE was signed on September 16 by Vice President of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Wu Yanhua, and Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai, Salem. al mary, Who said that Rashid 2 is a mission dedicated to “exploring new areas in the geography of the moon”.
China opened its Chang’e-7 International Cooperation Mission in June 2021which the UAE authorities took advantage of to negotiate an agreement with Beijing, to participate in the exploratory mission of President Xi Jinping and diversify its stakes and expectations of becoming a player to reckon with on the global space scene
8 ton spaceship, The ambitious Chang’e-7 mission consists of a lunar orbiter, a surface module, an autonomous rover, and a small robotic probe to explore craters for water. The agreement now reached between CNSA and MBRSC means it will also carry a small rover developed by Emirati engineers.
The decision of the Gulf state was not a surprise to the Biden administration and NASA, which was previously reported. The United Arab Emirates is a major geopolitical, military, and economic ally of the United States in the Middle East, and was one of the first countries to sign the NASA Artemis Agreements on October 13, 2020.
Full confidence in Chinese technology
By being in Artemis, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ensures his participation in various robotic and manned missions. Washington led the return of humans to the moon after 2025 and the exploitation of its resources in the future.
There is another close and important cooperation between the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center Agreements with the US Space Agency. One is to train Emirati astronauts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where so far the four members of its astronaut corps, three men and one woman, have been trained.
Both organizations also maintain links with US aerospace companies. Among the most important is with Axiom, with whom the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center last April signed a contract for a second Emirati astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, to fly aboard the Crew Dragon 6 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in the spring of 2023., along with an American astronaut A Russian cosmonaut.
but like NASA, China’s space agency, offers more than enough guarantees for Emirates’ investments Willing to make space technology for the great Far East country. Beijing has already succeeded in placing two lunar modules and two lunar rovers, both on the visible and dark side.
The 1.2-tonne Chang’e-3 rover and its Yutu rover touched down on the lunar surface in December 2013. At 3.6 tons, Chang’e-4 and Yutu-2 landed in January 2019. On the invisible side of our planet. The 8.2-ton Chang’e-5 mission landed on December 1, 2020 and sent small samples of the Moon back to Earth 15 days later – a major achievement.
Earlier to the moon with Japan … as well as with Israel
Chang’e-6 will fly in 2024 to improve the previous mission, the same year that Israel and the United Arab Emirates It wants to put the joint Beresheet 2 mission on the moon, the agreement of which was ratified in October 2021.
No details were released about the Rashid 2 lunar module, except that it will be a development of the smaller 10 kg Rashid 1., which includes two highly sensitive cameras. If there is no delay due to the repercussions of the war in Ukraine on the space sector, it is scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral (Florida) next November aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center has entered into a contract with the Japanese private company Ispace For the first Hakuto-R lunar surface module mission to deposit Rashid 1 on Earth’s natural satellite.
The final vibration and thermal vacuum testing of the Hakuto-R is nearing completion at IABG headquarters in Germany, which should attest that the entire system is ready to withstand takeoff and set up on the dusty moon. Once testing is complete in late September or early October, the Hakuto-R will be shipped to the United States and ready for launch.
The moon is the second outer space target of the United Arab Emirates after Mars. The Al-Amal (Hope) spacecraft was launched from Japan on a Japanese H-2 rocket in July 2020. The first satellite owned by an Arab country to arrive and orbit the Red Planet has orbited its atmosphere since early 2021, making the Gulf country the fifth country to reach our neighboring planet .