UAE to launch its first lunar rover in November

The UAE is expected to launch the Rashid rover in November this year aboard a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket.

Key facts

  • The United Arab Emirates will launch its first lunar rover named Rashid from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in November 2022.
  • The rover would reach the Lunar surface aboard the Hakuto-R lander of Japan’s ispace sometime in March next year.
  • If this lunar mission is successful, the UAE and Japan will rank among the US, Russia and China as being the only countries to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
  • Its destination the Lacus Somniorum – the Lake of Dreams – situated close to the lunar equator.
  • The Rashid rover will study the lunar surface, mobility on the surface of the moon and how different surfaces interact with the particles on the moon.
  • The rover weighs 10 kg. It would carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera, a thermal imagery camera, a probe and other devices.
  • The rover is named after Dubai’s former ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is credited for the transformation of Dubai from a small cluster of settlements near the Dubai Creek to a modern port city and commercial hub.
  • It was built at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.
  • Earlier, the UAE launched the Hope Mission to Mars – the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
  • It was also developed by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
  • The Arab country is currently planning to achieve the ambitious goal of building a human colony on Mars by 2117.

About HAKUTO-R lander

The HAKUTO-R lander was built by the Japanese company ispace. The Rashid rover would be the first Moon trip for HAKUTO-R, which has been under development for more than 10 years.

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