Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has partnered with French space agency CNES for the Emirates Lunar Mission.
Under the 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.
The CASPEX camera on top 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.
Commenting on the collaboration, 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, added: “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 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, which aims to build a human colony on Mars, and is funded by the ICT Fund under the Telecommunications And Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA).