UAE’s Lunar Rover to have French cameras

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on June 21, 2021
Supplied photo

The CASPEX camera on top of the rover’s mast will provide panoramic visibility of the rover surroundings.

The UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has forged a new collaboration with a French space agency that will provide sophisticated cameras enabling high-resolution images for the country’s Lunar Mission.

MBRSC has partnered with the French government space agency National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), to deliver two optical cameras for Space Exploration (CASPEX) for the Rashid rover.

It’s said the CASPEX camera on top of the rover’s mast will provide panoramic visibility of the rover surroundings.

The rear-mounted CASPEX camera will deliver images of the lunar soil with high spatial resolution.

The lunar rover which will apparently be ready for a 2022 mission, will be generating thousands of images and useful science data throughout the lunar day.

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.”

Earlier, for the country’s upcoming lunar mission, MBRSC also signed an agreement with Japan’s ispace that will provide payload delivery services to the UAE.

The rear-mounted French camera’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.

Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO, CNES, opined, “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.”

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