UAE explores opportunities for the use of aluminium in space

Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre may use metal to construct the next spacecraft


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 20 May 2022, 3:35 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 May 2022, 3:58 PM

A delegation from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, led by Director-General Salem Al Marri, visited Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) to explore potential collaboration in research and using EGA's UAE-made aluminium in space.

Al-Marri was received at EGA's Jebel Ali site in Dubai by Chief Executive Officer Abdulnasser bin Kalban and the company's leading technologists. The delegation toured EGA's state-of-the-art research and development facilities, Casthouse and laboratories.

The two discussed potential future synergies, including using EGA metal by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in constructing its next spacecraft, the sharing of laboratory capabilities, high-end machinery and fabrication facilities, and material sourcing.

Bin Kalban said, "We look forward to closing cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre as the UAE's aluminium industry contributes to our nation's space ambitions. Since the dawn of flight, aluminium has been lightweight, strong, and infinitely recyclable and has been a key material in the aerospace sector. I look forward to EGA's UAE-made low carbon metal leaving our planet as part of UAE-made spacecraft."

Al-Marri stated, "I am thankful for the opportunity to visit one of the UAE's most innovative industrial companies. The UAE is a major global producer of aluminium through EGA, a metal essential for space exploration. We look forward to potential future collaboration opportunities with EGA and to prepare new generations of Emirati engineers, experts, and researchers for the UAE's space sector's future strategic, sustainable, and scientific achievements."

Since the first satellite launch in 1957, aluminium has been the leading material in spaceflight. Given the attributes of aluminium alloys to function under extreme stress, pressure, and low temperatures, aluminium's role as the metal of choice for spacecraft and their components remains second to none.

EGA and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre have conducted respective visits to one another's facilities and have worked closely together in hosting a series of webinar talks focusing on the role of innovation in space exploration and the aluminium industry.

For the decades ahead, EGA aims to be a technology pathfinder for the global aluminium industry, including in the adoption of Industry 4.0, expand the company's position as a technology supplier of choice, and establish a thriving manufacturing innovation ecosystem in the UAE.

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