Science

United Arab Emirates begins work on the Gateway lunar space station that will orbit the Moon

Salem Al Marri, Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), posted: “This week we began work on the Lunar Space Station Gateway after our leadership announced the UAE’s participation in the project.

“We had several meetings with the Gateway team at NASA Johnson Space Center. [in Houston, USA] to coordinate efforts, and our team at MBRSC is beginning work on the #EmiratesAirlock, which will be used on the first-ever lunar station.”

He added: “We are still at the beginning of the journey, but with the dedication of the MBRSC team and our collaboration with [other space agencies]“I am confident that we will achieve our ambitious goals.”

In addition to the United Arab Emirates, the US NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are participating in the project.

Al Marri also shared photos of the mock-up of the Lunar Gateway Housing and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the first built part of the Gateway.

The images showed four Emirati astronauts in front of HALO, including Sultan Al Neyadi, Hazzaa Al Mansoori (each of whom completed a mission to the International Space Station) and the second group of the UAE Astronaut Program, made up of the first Arab female astronaut from UAE. Nora Al Matrooshi and Mohammad Al Mulla.

The United Arab Emirates will be responsible for the development of the lunar space station airlock, a critical component in maintaining a safe environment for astronauts. This unit will act as the station’s gateway, serving as an entry and exit point for missions and astronauts traveling to the surface of the Moon from the Gateway station.

The UAE will also be responsible for the management and operation of the station’s airlock. The length of the airlock is 10 meters, its width is 4 meters, it weighs 10 tons, and the size of the entire station is 19 x 20 x 42 m.

The station will also function as a space laboratory, which will allow a series of scientific and technical experiments to be carried out, and will have a minimum useful life of 15 years, which is subject to extension.

The first elements of the Gateway are expected to be launched in 2025, while the Emirates Airlock is planned for launch in 2030.

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