NASA and UAE Collaborate on Lunar Gateway Airlock

UAE to Provide Airlock Module for NASA's Artemis Program
Lunar Gateway to Feature UAE-Built Airlock for Future Missions - Imae via NSA.Gov

NASA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced a new partnership to collaborate on the Artemis Lunar Gateway, a key component of NASA’s human exploration program. The UAE will contribute an airlock module to the Gateway, which will provide additional space for crew activities and experiments.

The airlock module, Zayed, will be the first UAE-developed and -built spacecraft to operate in lunar orbit. It will also be the first Arab spacecraft to visit the Moon. The module will be attached to the Gateway’s Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), which will serve as the living quarters for astronauts visiting the Gateway.

“As chair of the National Space Council, I have prioritized enhancing international cooperation in space. Today’s announcement and partnership between the United States and the United Arab Emirates advances this important work. By combining our resources, scientific capacity, and technical skill, the U.S. and UAE will further our collective vision for space and ensure it presents extraordinary opportunities for everyone here on Earth,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. Nasa quoted Harris as saying in a blog post.

“The United States and the United Arab Emirates are marking a historic moment in our nations’ collaboration in space, and the future of human space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “We are in a new era of exploration through Artemis – strengthened by the peaceful and international exploration of space. The UAE’s provision of the airlock to Gateway will allow astronauts to conduct groundbreaking science in deep space and prepare to one day send humanity to Mars.”

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The Zayed module will enable the Gateway to support a variety of lunar missions, including surface exploration, science, and commercial activities. It will also enhance the Gateway’s capabilities for international cooperation and partnership. The module will be able to accommodate external payloads, such as robotic arms, cameras, and sensors, as well as internal experiments and storage.

The partnership between NASA and the UAE is based on a joint vision for peaceful exploration and discovery. Both agencies share a common interest in advancing human and robotic exploration of the Moon and beyond. The collaboration also reflects the UAE’s commitment to developing its space sector and fostering innovation and creativity.

The Artemis Lunar Gateway is a critical element of NASA’s plan to return humans to the Moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable presence there by the end of the decade. The Gateway will orbit the Moon and provide a platform for astronauts, robots, and spacecraft to access the lunar surface and conduct scientific research. The Gateway will also serve as a staging point for future missions to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.

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