NASA and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced plans on Sunday for the space center to provide an airlock for Gateway, humanity’s first space station to orbit the Moon. The lunar space station will support NASA’s missions for long-term exploration of the Moon under Artemis for the benefit of all.
“As president of the National Space Council, I have made it a priority to improve international cooperation in space. Today’s announcement and partnership between the United States and the United Arab Emirates advance this important work. By combining our resources, scientific capabilities, and technical prowess, the United States and the United Arab Emirates will advance our collective vision for space and ensure that it presents extraordinary opportunities for everyone here on Earth,” said Vice President Kamala Harris.
Under a new implementation agreement that expands its human spaceflight collaboration with NASA through DoorMBRSC will provide Gateway’s Crew and Science Airlock module, as well as a UAE astronaut to fly to the lunar space station on a future Artemis mission.
“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 peaceful, international space exploration. “The UAE’s provision of the airlock to Gateway will enable astronauts to conduct innovative science in deep space and prepare to one day send humanity to Mars.”
In addition to operating the airlock, MBRSC will also provide engineering support for the life of the lunar space station. The airlock will enable scientific research and crew transfers to and from the habitable environment of Gateway’s pressurized crew modules into the vacuum of space. These transfers will support broader science in the deep space environment as well as Gateway maintenance.
Gateway will support sustained deep space exploration and research, provide a home for astronauts to live and work, including a launching point for missions to the lunar surface and an opportunity to conduct spacewalks while orbiting the Moon.
NASA’s Artemis program is the most diverse and broadest coalition of nations in human deep space exploration. In collaboration with CSA (Canadian Space Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and now MBRSC, NASA will return humans to the lunar surface to make scientific discoveries and chart a path for the first human being. Missions to Mars.
This latest cooperation at Gateway builds on NASA and the UAE’s previous human spaceflight collaboration. In 2019, Hazzaa Almansoori became the first Emirati to fly in space during a brief mission to the International Space Station, in which he collaborated with NASA to conduct experiments and educational outreach activities. A second Emirati astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, launched to the space station in 2023 on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission, where he participated in floating laboratory scientific research that advances human knowledge and improves life on Earth . The UAE currently has two additional astronaut candidates in training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA has also worked with the UAE on mars research and human research and analogue studies to support mutual exploration priorities.
In 2020, the United States and the United Arab Emirates were among the original signatories of the Artemis Accordswhich are a practical set of principles to guide cooperation in space exploration among nations participating in NASA’s 21st century lunar exploration program.
Through SagebrushNASA will take the first woman and first person of color to the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a springboard to send the first astronauts to Mars.
Johnson Space Center, Houston