UAE, China sign agreement to explore the moon

China UAE Moon agreement
L-R: CNSA vice administrator Wu Yanhua and MBRSC director general Salem Humaid AlMarri; standing – Chinese ambassador Zhang Yiming and MBRSC vice chairman Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani

Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Friday, marking the start of joint space projects between the UAE and China, including carrying out a future mission to explore the moon.

The agreement, signed by MBRSC director general Salem Humaid AlMarri and CNSA vice administrator Wu Yanhua in the presence of Chinese ambassador Zhang Yiming and MBRSC vice chairman Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, stipulates MBRSC’s collaboration with CNSA in landing a lunar rover developed by MBRSC.

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“It (MoU) also lays the groundwork for future opportunities for space cooperation between the UAE and China,” said MBRSC in a statement.

“It is worth noting that China plays an important role in moon exploration through their participation in many exceptional space projects, such as the ‘Chang’e 5’ (the fifth lunar exploration mission of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program and China’s first lunar sample-return mission) which landed over the “ocean of storms” on the moon’s surface in December 2020, collecting 1.73 kilograms of lunar samples and bringing them to Earth for study,” MBRSC noted.

China UAE moon
official from China National Space Administration and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre during the signing ceremony event in Dubai.
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Expanding space cooperation

In a message sent to Gulf News after the signing, Zhang underscored: “China-Arab space cooperation is an important consensus sealed by the agreement. With the continuous development of China-Arab comprehensive strategic partnership, it is timely to strengthen cooperation in the space field.

“China-Arab lunar exploration cooperation is a key cooperation project that will lay a solid foundation for further deepening and expanding space cooperation between the two countries,” added the top Chinese diplomat.

Established in 2006. MBRSC is responsible for the development of the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre has more than 200 engineers working on the UAE Satellite Programme, the UAE Astronaut Programme, the Emirates Mars Mission, and the Mars 2117 Programme.

Founded in 1993, CNSA is the government agency of China that is responsible for civil space administration and international space cooperation.