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The United Arab Emirates to launch first lunar rover in November

The United Arab Emirates will launch its first lunar rover in November, the mission manager said Monday.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 39A MAY 4, 2021, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Source - U.S. Space Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman, Public Domain
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Space Launch Complex 39A MAY 4, 2021, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Source - U.S. Space Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman, Public Domain

The United Arab Emirates will launch its first lunar rover in November, the mission manager said Monday.

CTV News Canada is reporting that Hamad Al Marzooqi told The National, a state-linked newspaper, that the “Rashid” rover, named for Dubai’s ruling family, would be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida sometime between Nov. 9 and Nov. 15.

The rover will be launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and deposited on the moon by a Japanese ispace lander sometime in March.

The Rashid Lunar Rover Credit – Wikieditsfxj, CC SA 4.0.

“We’ve finished with the testing of the rover and we are happy with the results,” Al Marzooqi was quoted as saying by the Washington Post. “The rover has been integrated with the lander and it is ready for launch.”

This lunar mission is part of the United Arab Emirates’ broader strategy to become a major player in the field of space exploration. If the moon mission is successful, the UAE and Japan would join the ranks of only the U.S., Russia, and China as nations that have put a spacecraft on the lunar surface.

The Rashid will travel to the moon aboard ispace’s Hakuto-R lander. The rover will land in Lacus Somniorum, the “Lake of Dreams”, close to the lunar equator.

The Rashid rover is expected to study the lunar surface, mobility on the moon’s surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles. The 10-kilogram (22-pound) rover will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera, a thermal imagery camera, a probe, and other devices.

If successful, Rashid will be the smallest rover to land on the Moon, weighing approximately 10 kg with its payload.

The UAE and Japan collaborated in February 2021 in putting a satellite into orbit that is circling Mars to study the red planet’s atmosphere. The UAE partnered with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch that probe.

The UAE has plans to develop the Middle East’s most advanced commercial satellite to produce high-resolution satellite imagery. It has also set the ambitious goal of building a human colony on Mars by 2117.

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Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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