MBRSC Collaborates with CNES on the Emirates Lunar Mission

  • Under the French-Emirati cooperation initiative, the French space agency will provide MBRSC with CASPEX cameras for the Rashid Rover.
  • The cameras will provide high resolution images in full HD.

Dubai, UAE, 21June 2021: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) today announced that it has partnered with French space agency, CNES for the Emirates Lunar Mission. Under this new French-Emirati cooperation initiative, CNES will provide MBRSC with two optical cameras (CASPEX) for the Rashid rover, which will provide high resolution images in full HD.

Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director General, MBRSC had held a virtual meeting recently with Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO, CNES to discuss the partnership and areas on which both centres can work together.

CASPEX cameras

The CASPEX camera ontop of the rover’s mast will provide panoramic visibility of the rover surroundings while the rear-mounted CASPEX camera will deliver images of the lunar soil with high spatial resolution. The latter’s images of the drive tracks will be analysed to determine wheel sinkage and to investigate the detailed wheel-soil interaction. Such data will be important to design the mobility systems of future rovers.

Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director-General, MBRSC, said: “The UAE aims to lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon through the Emirates Lunar Mission. Our partnership with CNES is a continuation of the already great collaborative effort with France and we will continue to strengthen it further. We believe that collaboration is the way forward for space exploration, and the more we work together to tackle challenges for the good of humanity, the greater our collective prospects for the future.”

Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO, CNES, said:“I am glad to add today a new milestone and a new destination to the longstanding partnership between France and the UAE. With MBRSC we have developed a fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation. It will allow us not only to take French technology to the Moon and bring back data for our scientists but most and foremost to strengthen the relations between our respective technology and scientific ecosystems.”

The Emirates Lunar Mission is one of the initiatives under the Mars 2117 Programme, whichaims to build a human colony on Mars, and is funded by the ICT Fund under theTelecommunications And Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).

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About MBRSC:

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. It has launched the DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2 and the KhalifaSat, which was developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers. The Centre also launched the Emirates Mars Mission “Hope Probe”, which became the first Arab interplanetary mission to reach the Martian orbit on 9 February 2021. The Hope Probe will gather key scientific data about Mars’ atmosphere.

Recently, the Centre announced the launch of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the Moon and plans to develop MBZ-SAT, the most advanced commercial satellite in the region in the field of high-resolution satellite imagery. Furthermore, MBRSC is hosting the 72nd edition of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2021, the world’s premier space event, in Dubai. The UAE is the first Arab nation to host the IAC since its establishment in 1950. The Centre is also responsible for the UAE Astronaut Programme, which saw the launch of Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati Astronaut, to the International Space Station on a scientific mission on 25th September 2019, and the development of the Mars 2117 Programme to build a human colony on Mars.