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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

U.S. restricts UAE’s Rashid 2 mission to China’s moon


While that doesn’t mean Rashid 2 will never land on the moon, it could force the UAE to use licensing partners like Japan and SpaceX again or obtain licenses. Critics have called for the ITAR restrictions to be updated because they are outdated and have had a significant impact on the US space industry. European companies circumvent ITAR restrictions by producing special product lines that do not use US components.

“There are some exceptions for close allies of the United States,” said John Logsdon, professor emeritus of space policy at George Washington University.

However, in the case of UAE-China cooperation, a license is required to manufacture any ITAR-bound US technology for inclusion in the Rashid 2 rover.

The license or other agreement must explain how the technology will be prevented from falling into Chinese hands. Otherwise, the UAE must obtain a license allowing China to use the technology.

Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard University astronomer and historian of the space program, said many components made in the United States or Europe are subject to U.S. subassembly restrictions to prevent China from acquiring advanced technology.

Worryingly, Chinese engineers could study the design and disassemble it “Rashid 2” rover When it reached Xichang, it was launched by a Chinese rocket.

McDowell noted that the United States did something similar in the early days of the space race. The CIA briefly stole the Soviet Luna 3 lunar probe while it was on display in Mexico, and returned the spacecraft after it was partially disassembled and pictures of the interior were taken.


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