A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Spaceport 39A on May 4, 2021 at the Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Source – US Space Force photo taken by Tech. Sergeant James Hodgman, public domain
The United Arab Emirates will launch its first lunar rover in November, the mission chief said on Monday.
CTB News Canada reports that Hamad Al Marzouki told state-run newspaper The National that the Rashid rover, named after Dubai’s ruling family, will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida sometime between November 9 and 15.
The rover will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and delivered to the moon by Japan’s ispace lander sometime in March.
“We have completed testing of the rover and are pleased with the results,” said Al Marzouki. Washington Post. “The rover is integrated with the lander and ready to launch.”
This lunar mission is part of the United Arab Emirates’ broader strategy to become a major player in space exploration. If the mission to the moon is successful, the UAE and Japan will join the US, Russia and China as the countries that have sent spacecraft to the surface of the moon.
Rashid will go to the moon aboard the ispace ship. Lander Hakuto-R. The rover will land at Lacus Somniorum, the “Lake of Dreams”, near the lunar equator.
The Rashid rover is expected to study the lunar surface, mobility on the lunar surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles. The 10-kilogram rover will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera, a thermal imaging camera, a probe and other devices.
In case of success, Rashid will be smallest rover to land on the moonweighing about 10 kg with a payload.
In February 2021, the UAE and Japan jointly launched a satellite into orbit around Mars to study the atmosphere of the red planet. The UAE has partnered with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch this probe.
The UAE plans to develop the most advanced commercial satellite in the Middle East for high resolution satellite imagery. He also set himself the ambitious goal of building a human colony on Mars by 2117.