Emirati astronaut, Nora Al Matrooshi, second right, next to colleague Mohammad Al Mulla, talks to the journalists during their first public appearance at a news conference held by Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

A new ally in the race to the Moon has been made by the United Arab Emirates and China, who are working together to land a rover on the lunar surface. The partnership between the two nations highlights their lunar ambitions.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre signed an agreement with the Chinese National Space Administration on Friday that paves the way for a collaboration between the two nations on a future mission to the moon. The agreement between the United States and China states that the two countries will work together to land a rover on the moon.

The Chinese lunar exploration program has experience landing on the moon. Chang'e-4, the successor to Chang'e 3, landed on the far side of the moon in 2019. Chang'e-5 brought back samples from the lunar surface in December 2020.

The United States is a veteran in the space game. The gulf nation put its name in the ring by launching the Mars Hope Probe in July 2020 and going into space around the Red Planet in February 2021. Going to Mars was a big gamble, but the Arab country had never before attempted a mission of this size. The U.S., Europe, China, and Russia are the main players in the space race, and the leaders of the U.S., Europe, China, and Russia are determined to enter it.

The Emiratis are going to launch their lunar mission on a rocket in November. The Lacus Somniorum is Latin for Lake of Dreams and is where the goal of the mission is to land a lunar rover. The landers will carry the rover to the moon. The details of the recent agreement with China were not disclosed so it's not clear what the nation's role will be in landing Rashid on the Moon.

The United States and China are trying to get their nationals on the moon. One of the first countries to sign the Artemis Accords was the United Arab Emirates. The Artemis Program wants to land astronauts on the moon before the year 2025.

NASA is wary of China's plans to go to the Moon with both lunar programs hoping to land on the Moon's south pole to explore possible resources such as ice-water trapped beneath the surface. The space race between China and the U.S. is heating up, with NASA struggling to meet its deadline for the crewed Artemis 3 mission, while China claims that it will land its astronauts on the moon by 2030.

It is difficult to see where the gulf nation will end up in the ongoing lunar rivalry with China. Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, and other Artemis Accords partners can either stick with them, or further cement their relationship with a partner that might help it land a rover on the moon.

NASA has a future moon-Orbiting space station.