A successful landing would put the UAE in a very exclusive list of countries that have landed missions on the Moon.
The UAE has embarked on a mission to land a rover on an unexplored part of the Moon, it was announced on Tuesday. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to social media to announce that the country will send the “100 per cent Emirati-made” rover to the Moon in 2024.
The Rashid Rover – named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to honour his vision to develop Dubai – will explore “areas of the Moon that have not been reached by previous missions”, Sheikh Mohammed said.
A successful landing would put the UAE in a very exclusive list of countries that have landed missions on the Moon. Only three countries – the US, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China – have landed 20 of the 44 missions to the lunar surface till date. It will also will be the first ever Arab lunar mission. The announcement comes just two months after the UAE successfully launched the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, Hope probe to Mars.
The Emirates Lunar Mission is part of the recently-announced 10-year strategy of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). The explorer will be designed by a team of Emirati engineers, experts and researchers. The MBRSC will partner with an international entity to land the Rashid Rover on the Moon.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “By exploring the Moon, we are drafting a new inspiring chapter in the UAE’s growing list of achievements in space and beyond.
“We chose to name the lunar rover Rashid after the builder of the modern renaissance of Dubai and one of the founders of the UAE. This project is the largest national and humanitarian project in the region.”
The UAE Vice-President said the country has a “large-scale space programme combined with an unwavering will, strategic governance and an ambitious cadre of scientists, researchers and engineers”.
“The future awaiting us is full of achievements and innovations. What lies ahead is even more promising,” he added.
Here is all you need to know about the mission
>Study the lunar surface: Thermal properties and conduction characteristics
>Study the lunar soil: Its formation and components
>Tests to expand human understanding of the Moon-plasma, photoelectrons and dust particles located over the illuminated part of the lunar surface
>Capture multiple images and relay it back to the control room in Dubai
Lighting up the dark side of the Moon
>Rover to land on an unexplored area of the Moon
>It will collect scientific data on matters relating the origin of the solar system, Earth and life
Slingshot to Mars
>The Rashid Rover will test new exploration techniques on the Moon, which will help test the UAE’s capabilities before embarking on manned missions to Mars
The technical specifications and mobility capabilities for the first lunar rover in the Arab world… pic.twitter.com/wEaVSfTSMM
– Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 29, 2020
Rashid Rover specs
>Four cameras that move vertically and horizontally: Two main cameras, a microscope camera, and a thermal imaging camera
>Sensors to analyse the properties of soil, dust, radioactivity, electrical activities, and rocks on the lunar surface
>Advanced motion system to enhance the efficiency of the Lunar Rover’s wheels’ movement
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