China to help UAE land rover on Moon’s surface

The two countries signed an agreement on Friday

Powered by automated translation

China will help the UAE to land one of its rovers on the Moon’s surface, the first collaboration between the two countries in the space sector.

An agreement was signed between the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Friday.

The MBRSC said the agreement paved the way for future projects between China and the UAE.

“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, which stipulates the centre's collaboration with the CNSA in landing a rover developed by MBRSC for a future Moon exploration mission, … marks the start of the first joint space project between China and the UAE, laying the groundwork for future opportunities for space co-operation between the two parties,” it said.

Timelapse footage shows how the UAE's lunar rover was built

Timelapse footage shows how the UAE's lunar rover was built

China has been running a successful lunar exploration programme. It first landed on the Moon in 2013 using its Change-3 spacecraft.

In 2019, it managed to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon.

Through the partnership, the UAE would have easier access to the Moon, without having to build its own lander.

This November, the Emirates plans to launch its first Moon mission, which involves a 10-kilogram rover called Rashid.

A Japanese lander — Hakuto-R Mission 1 — will carry the rover to the lunar surface.

The UAE is a signatory of the US-led Artemis Accords, an international treaty that outlines responsible space exploration.

It is the first time a signatory of the accords is participating in a space project with China.

Updated: September 16, 2022, 11:25 AM