Raumfahrt - UAE starts Lunar Mission project ‘Rashid’ -Update-1


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the launch of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the moon.

The mission supports the UAE’s efforts to enhance the region’s space industry and contribute to its future built by innovative Emirati minds.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is part of the new 2021-2031 strategy launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, which includes the development and launch of the first Emirati lunar rover named "Rashid," after the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, builder of modern Dubai.

The explorer will be designed and built in the UAE by 100 per cent Emirati team of engineers, experts, and researchers. If successful, the UAE will become the first Arab country and the fourth country in the world to land on the lunar surface after the United States, Soviet Union, and China. MBRSC will partner with an international entity to assist in landing the Rashid Lunar 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."

"We have 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.

Scientific objectives

The mission aims to conduct tests to study various aspects of the lunar surface, including the lunar soil and its formation and components, thermal properties of the surface including thermal amplitude and conduction characteristics. It will carry out a series of measurements and tests that will expand human understanding of the Moon-plasma, photoelectrons and dust particles located over the illuminated part of the lunar surface. A range of materials will also be tested and their interaction with the Moon will be studied.

During its mission period, the Lunar Rover will capture multiple images and relay it back to the control room in Dubai. The Emirates Lunar Mission will also test new technologies in material science, robotics, mobility, navigation, and communications, specially designed to survive and function in the harsh lunar environment.


Ideal platform

The Emirati lunar rover will land on an area of the Moon’s surface that has not been explored by any of the previous lunar exploration missions. Therefore, it will provide novel and highly valued data, images, and insights. During its mission, the lunar rover will collect scientific data on matters relating the origin of the solar system, our planet and life.

The Moon is considered an ideal platform to test new technologies and equipment that can be used in future space exploration missions, including Mars. Landing on the Moon also allows for long-term exposure of sensors and other technologies to the space environment. The Lunar Rover will further test new exploration techniques on the Moon, which will help test the UAE’s capabilities before embarking on manned missions to Mars.

Technical specifications

The Lunar Rover will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies including a 3D camera, advanced motion system, sensors, communication system and be powered using solar panels.

It will include four cameras that move vertically and horizontally, including two main cameras, a microscope camera, and a thermal imaging camera. Additionally, it will be equipped with sensors and systems to analyse the properties of soil, dust, radioactivity, electrical activities, and rocks on the surface of the Moon. 

The explorer will also include an advanced motion system to enhance the efficiency of the Lunar Rover’s wheels' movement on the Moon and facilitate the process to overcome natural barriers, along with a robust structure to protect devices and machinery from changing temperatures.


A team of Emirati engineers, researchers and experts at MBRSC is working towards completing the design of the Lunar Rover by 2021. The rover is set to be manufactured in 2022, while preliminary experiments and tests of the prototype are expected to start in 2023. The Centre aims to launch the Lunar Rover by 2024, setting another record in its growing list of achievements in the space sector.


Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of MBRSC, said, "The Emirates Lunar Mission is an embodiment of the spirit of UAE’s innovation and scientific progress, in accordance with the vision of its wise leadership that supports scientific ambition and stimulates achievements. As an ambitious country with a forward-looking vision and outlook, we are constantly marching ahead. With this Mission, we are adding a new chapter in the history of lunar missions, at a time when minds are racing to accomplish scientific achievements that benefit humanity."

Al Mansoori added, "The mission is an indicator of the potential and experience of the Arab youth. The project embodies the spirit of innovation and scientific progress that characterizes the UAE, and reflects on the greatness of our dreams, the vision of our children, the wisdom of our leadership, the determination of our heroes and the position of our nation as a global centre for space science. We will continue on this path of science and knowledge as a strategic choice to build the future of the UAE." 


Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, Director-General, MBRSC, said, "The Emirates Lunar Mission is a clear indication of the wise leadership's vision to invest in the country's future and contribute to advance knowledge in the global space sector. The culture of leadership and work has taught us that the secret of success is not the abundance of resources, but our ability to manage these resources and direct them in a way that serves our goals."

"The mission will engineer a new scientific reality for Arabs and Emiratis, following the legacy of Arab scientists and achievers of the past who shaped the region’s scientific renaissance in various fields. It will contribute to providing knowledge and expertise to the scientific community through a trove of scientific data that will raise the position of the UAE in the international arena.

"The data procured from the Emirates Lunar Mission will create a knowledge base that will help in building a research station on the Moon and answer questions related to the formation of both the Solar System and the planets in them. This will in turn put humans on the surface of the Moon one day. The presence of the UAE among the few nations worldwide that have launched missions to space reiterates the fact that, in the Arab world, we can usher in change and accomplishments through sheer will and determination."

Adnan AlRais, Mars 2117 Programme Director, MBRSC, said, "The Emirates Lunar Mission paves the way for the realization of the Mars 2117 Programme’s strategy. The mission will provide us with answers and data that define the course of our mission to explore Mars and benefit humanity. We are aware that the project launching today is not an easy one and involves many challenges, but every risk to us is a learning opportunity. Developing local knowledge through practical projects is very important to us, because we are able to transform challenges to opportunities as our leaders have taught us."

"The Lunar Rover is expected to send back at least 1,000 images, including that of the Moon landing, surface images, night-time images of the Earth, thermal images, self-images, as well as navigation data, including flight time, surface topography data on the moon, inertial measurement unit, IMU, data, temperatures, and energy consumption."


The Lunar Rover is expected to face many challenges on the surface of the Moon, as it has a harsher environment than Mars, and the temperature can reach minus 173 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the lunar soil, surface terrain, lunar photoelectrons and other factors may pose challenges to the mission.

The focus of the team of researchers and engineers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is to design a Lunar Rover capable of bypassing all potential obstacles while performing its mission.

With a success rate of only 45 per cent, landing on the Moon is considered one of the most challenging space missions due to the precision required for a successful landing. Other technical challenges also arise due to the harsh environment of the Moon.

If successful, the UAE will become the first Arab country and the fourth country in the world to successfully land on the lunar surface after the United States, the Soviet Union, and China.

During its mission, the Lunar Rover will conduct numerous scientific tests on the surface of the Moon that will contribute to making qualitative developments in the fields of science, communication technologies and robotics. Furthermore, the impact of these developments will extend beyond the space sector and into various vital sectors in the national and global economy.

Strategy 2021-2031

The Emirates Lunar Mission is an ambitious national project, part of the new 2021-2031 strategy launched by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. The strategy is a roadmap for the Centre’s work during the next decade. It boosts the Centre’s international competitiveness, builds new international knowledge partnerships and develops Emirati capabilities in the field of space exploration and space technologies.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is an ambitious national project, which hopes to reinvigorate Arab scientific renaissance in the region and consolidate the gains made by the UAE in the space sector over the past decade - from the construction of satellites to the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission "Hope Probe", the first Arab interplanetary mission.

The mission also contributes to achieving the ambitious vision of the UAE to be among the leading centres specialised in studying and developing space sciences, turning it into a hub for scientists and researchers by providing them with a wealth of data, knowledge and scientific resources for free. This will in turn contribute to the betterment of mankind.

MBRSC’s strategic programmes for the coming decade includes the Hope Probe, which is part of the Emirates Mars Mission, which will provide new and unique scientific data that will be accessible to more than 200 academic and scientific research institutions around the world. Another key project is the Mars 2117 Programme, which will utilise the latest human knowledge to explore space.

The strategy also focuses on the UAE’s satellite development programme, which aims to strengthen the domestic space industry, and to provide data through existing satellites like KhalifaSat and others that will developed by the Centre to increase the efficiency of the satellite network and locally developed advanced space technologies.

The strategy includes the UAE Astronaut Programme, in partnership with NASA, to train and enable Emirati astronauts for future space missions and support the UAE’s aspirations in the space sector.

Another key component of the strategy is the UAE Space Sector Sustainability Programme, that will see the setting up of Centre for Innovation and Development, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Ministry of Education, Dubai University and a selection of institutions specialised in space sciences.

The Centre is also building a supportive environment for space entrepreneurs, inspiring more than 22,000 students to take up space sciences, and contribute to making the UAE a hub for space technology.

Quelle: Gulf Today


UAE launches mission to land on the moon by 2024

Emirates Lunar Mission will see the UAE becoming the fourth country in the world to carry out moon exploration missions


The UAE on Tuesday announced the launch of a mission to land on the surface of the moon.

The Emirates Lunar Mission will be a 100 percent Emirati-built lunar rover that will land on the moon by 2024, according to a series of tweets by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Prime Minister and Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The lunar rover has been named "Rashid" in honour of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum who ruled Dubai for 32 years from 1958 until his death in 1990 and who "sparked" the emirate's advancement.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE will be the fourth country in the world to carry out moon exploration missions and the first in the Arab world.


The lunar explorer will send data and images for the first time from new lunar regions that will be shared with local and international research centres, he said.

He added: "Participating in moon exploration is part of the UAE's space strategy... to build new knowledge capabilities for the state... and build specialised cadres... and upgrading the scientific, technical and research environment in our country... and the lunar explorer will be built 100 percent on the state's land and by our Emirati engineers."

The announcement comes just days after Sheikh Mohammed reviewed the UAE's space sector, with plans to add to the AED22 billion ($6 billion) of investments so far attracted.

After being briefed about the new strategy of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to 2031, the Dubai ruler backed a new phase of Emirati potential in the space exploration and technology fields.

As well as the project to explore the moon and the ambitious Mars 2117 strategy, the plans also include a satellite development programme to enhance the industry's expertise at the national level and sustain data provision by Emirati satellites, such as DubaiSat-4, KhalifaSat, and Mezn Sat.


On his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed said on Saturday: "The UAE's ambition in the space sector explores, plans and makes the future. Our youth, engineers and pioneers open new horizons in the science, technology and innovation fields in this vital sector for the future of our world.

"The space sector in the country represents a tributary to the Arab space sector with the experiences it has gained and the knowledge it has developed and the strategic partnerships it has held. Its future programmes for training national cadres in the space sector and building satellites will be supported by knowledge, data and innovations academic and scientific research institutions in the Arab world and the world for the benefit of mankind."

He added that future space mission would be announced soon.

The review comes a year after Hazza Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut, made history when he travelled to the International Space Station.



Update: 15.04.2021


UAE to send Emirati-made lunar rover ‘Rashid’ to the moon next year

Nation aims to become first Arab country and only the fourth in the world to land on moon


From left: Adnan Al Rais, programme director, Dr Hamad Al Marzooqi and Takeshi Hakamada during their online conference.Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: ‘Rashid’, an Emirati-made lunar rover named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, will be launched next year, two years ahead of schedule, with prototype testing to commence this summer.

The announcement was made during a press briefing held on Wednesday by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and ispace, a Japanese private lunar robotic exploration company that will transport Rashid to the moon.

Rashid was previously announced to be launched in 2024. The exact landing site is yet to be revealed, but the rover will travel to a part of the moon that has never been reached before. Its mission is to better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary across the moon.

Prototype testing this summer

Dr Hamad Al Marzooqi, project manager of the Emirates Lunar Mission at MBRSC, said more than 50 per cent of the prototype components are ready and testing will commence this summer. “From September (2021) to March (2022), we should finish development and testing of the flight model and the rover will be ready for launch by next year,” he noted.

Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace, did not give a specific date for the launch, but confirmed that Rashid will be one of the payloads that will go to the moon aboard a Space X Falcon rocket before the end of 2022.

UAE Lunar Rover updated
UAE is preparing to send the smallest and the UAE to send the smallest, lightest Emirati made rover ‘Rashid’ to the moon as part of its Lunar Mission.Image Credit: MBRSC/Seyyed Llata

UAE lunar mission

Rashid will be equipped with advanced technologies, including a 3D camera, advanced motion system, sensors, a microscope camera and a thermal imaging camera plus a state-of-the-art communication system. Once on the surface of the moon, it will run on solar panels. Its four cameras will move vertically and horizontally. It will also be equipped with sensors and systems to analyse the properties of soil, dust, radioactivity, electrical activities and rocks on the surface of the Moon.

Rashid will have the distinction of being the smallest rover to have landed on the moon. To be built at a height of 70cm, it will be the lightest lunar rover, weighing approximately 10kg with its payload. Rashid’s length is 50cm while width is 50cm.

This will not only be the first lunar mission from the Arab world but will also make the UAE only the fourth country in the world to land on the moon — after the United States, the former Soviet Union and China.

UAE-Japan space agreement

The UAE and Japan have forged another space pact. Under the recent agreement, ispace will transport Rashid rover to moon aboard a robotic lunar lander called Hakuto-R (Hakuto-Reboot). The private robotic exploration company will also provide wired communication and power as well as wireless communication on the lunar surface.

Hakuto-R will be launched into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from US Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida next year.

According to MBRSC, the collaboration is “a key part of the UAE’s space exploration strategy, which is centred around building new knowledge capabilities, inspiring future generations to pursue space science and research, and fostering global collaboration.”

“Upon the execution of the mission, the UAE and Japan, together, are anticipated to be the next two nations to successfully put a spacecraft on the lunar surface, following the United States, Russia and China,” the MBRSC added.

Space economy

MBRSC said it selected ispace based on its technological credibility, after a thorough consideration of competing lunar payload delivery service providers. “This cooperation with ispace is yet another exemplification of MBRSC’s unique ability to tap into the best of the global space value chain through strategic collaborations with key partners,” noted MBRSC director-general Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani.

He added: “MBRSC’s commitment towards space research and development has garnered the attention of the world through our various projects. We are now leveraging our advanced scientific and technological hub by partnering with international entities that will aid in creating a new space economy landscape in the country. Our mission at Emirates Lunar Mission is to keep the UAE flag flying high and be at the forefront of countries contributing to scientific achievements that will change the face of humanity.”

From moon to Mars

Adnan AlRais, Mars 2117 Programme Manager and Senior Director Remote Sensing Department at MBRSC, noted deploying a rover to the moon will serve the UAE’s long-term goal of sending humans to Mars and building settlement there.

He added: “Our association with Japan’s ispace is in line with the MBRSC’s ambitious vision of growing a vibrant and sustainable space ecosystem through collaborations and partnerships. The Emirates Lunar Mission represents a milestone in the UAE’s space sector as the mission will contribute towards providing valuable data and information relating to the moon that will serve the global scientific community as well as test capabilities that would be crucial for manned missions to Mars.”

“The world will be watching as our commercial lander carries the ‘Rashid’ rover to the Moon. We’re pleased to advance collaboration between the UAE and Japan in space exploration, as well as to inspire more collaborations for lunar exploration between the public and commercial sector around the world,” added Hakamada.

100% Emirati-made rover

The Emirates Lunar Mission is part of the new 2021-2031 strategy launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had announced on September 29, 2020 that the UAE would launch an Emirati-made rover that would land on the surface of the moon by 2024. The rover was named “Rashid”, after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the builder of modern Dubai and one of the UAE’s Founding Fathers.

Rashid lunar rover specs

Mass: 10kg

Height: 70cm

Length: 50 cm

Width: 50cm

Quelle: Gulf News
Update: 15.07.2021

Lander to take UAE rover to Moon is in final stages of assembly

The Japanese Hakuto-R lander will play a crucial role in helping the Emirates to reach the lunar surface

The Japanese lander that will deliver the UAE’s first rover, Rashid, to the lunar surface, is in the final stages of assembly.

Unspecified technical problems in 2020 delayed the launch of the Hakuto-R lander by a year.

Now, the lunar flight model has reached its final stages of assembly and is on schedule for a launch in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will be carried to space on a Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Being developed by private space company ispace, the lander has been moved from Japan to Germany for the final stages, the company announced on Wednesday.

“Today, ispace announced that it began the assembly of the flight model for its lunar lander, which is to be used in the company’s first mission, scheduled to launch in 2022,” ispace said.

“This is a major engineering milestone in the development of the lander and part of the final stretch towards our first mission.”

The Rashid rover, which is being developed by a group of start-up companies and engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), will be one of six payloads on board the lander.

Others include a transformable lunar robot by Japan’s space agency Jaxa, a solid-state battery test module by NGK Spark Plug, an artificial intelligence flight computer by Canada’s Mission Control Space Services, cameras by Canada’s Canadensys and panels engraved with the names of the lander’s crowdfunding supporters.

“Despite setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as delays in the supply chain, personnel limits at testing facilities, remote work communications, travel restrictions, and other issues, ispace’s engineers were steadfast in their operations and managed to remain on schedule,” ispace said.


The final assembly of the lander is being carried out in co-operation with the Ariane Group at its facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany.

The assembly and integration of all the payloads, ispace said, are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, which suggests the Rashid rover could be completed by December.

After final testing of the lander is completed early next year, it will be shipped to the US in the second half of 2022 for the launch.

Using a lander and rocket that is already available helps Emirati engineers and scientists get quicker and easier access to space.

Last month, the UAE revealed its long-term Moon exploration programme at a global space conference in Russia.

The Emirates plans to send several rovers and orbiters to the Moon, with the second rover scheduled for a launch in 2024 or 2025.

“A lot of people asked the question why we skipped over the Moon when we launched the Hope probe to Mars. But we’ve kicked off our latest project, which is the Rashid rover that will explore the lunar surface,” said Salem Al Marri, deputy director-general of MBRSC.

“Our objective is to build and send a second rover by 2024 or 2025. There are plans [to send] orbiters around the Moon and we do have an eye on human exploration of the Moon in partnership with different players.”

Rashid will explore the near side of the Moon, which offers a smoother surface with fewer craters, but the terrain is still unpredictable.

The four-wheeled rover can climb over obstacles with a maximum height of 10 centimetres and descend a 20-degree slope.

Rashid will study the properties of lunar soil, the geology of the Moon, dust movement and its photoelectron sheath for one lunar day – about two weeks.

It will send back more than 1,000 images of the lunar surface.

Quelle: UAE The National


Update: 26.10.2022


UAE to launch first lunar rover ‘Rashid’ in November


'Rashid' – named after Dubai's ruling family – will be propelled aboard a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket

The United Arab Emirates will launch in November from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, The United States, between November 9 and 15.

"Rashid" – named after Dubai's ruling family – will be propelled aboard a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket and deposited on the moon by a Japanese lander in March 2023.

The 22-pound rover is expected to study the lunar surface, mobility on the moon's surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles. It will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera, a thermal imaging camera, and a probe, among other devices.

It is the first lunar spacecraft built by an Arab country and will take part in a lunar mission that is part of the UAE’s strategy to become a major player in space exploration.

In October 2021, Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on space exploration, including collaborating on the "Beresheet 2" mission to the moon set to launch in 2024 and is expected to break space history by executing a double landing on the moon in one mission.

The space deal was yet another sign of the burgeoning relationship between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi since the establishment of diplomatic relations as part of the Abraham Accords.

A team of 11 engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center has been building "Rashid" since 2017. In what the Mohammed Space Center calls a science mission, the rover will study the properties of lunar soil, the petrography and geology of the moon, dust movement, and the moon's surface plasma conditions.

Quelle: i24NEWS

Update: 17.01.2023

How UAE will reach new milestones in space exploration this year

AlNeyadi to reach ISS, Rashid Rover heads for the Moon, MBZ-Sat launch also lined up


Dubai: More milestones in space exploration are expected in 2023 for the UAE, following the successful launch of Moon-bound Rashid Rover in December 2022.

UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi is headed to the International Space Station (ISS) in mid-February to conduct scientific experiments for six months; Rashid Rover is expected to land on the Moon’s Atlas Crater by April; and MBZ-SAT, touted as the region’s biggest and most powerful satellite, will be launched before the year ends.


Hope Probe, meanwhile, is constantly sending new pictures and data of the Martian atmosphere, and the UAE has also announced future exploration of other planetary objects as part of its Mars 2117 programme.

“From the Earth’s orbit to the asteroid belt, 2023 will be a very exciting year for space scientists in the UAE,” Dimitra Atri, astrophysicist at New York University in Abu Dhabi, told Gulf News.

He added: “I am looking forward to the landing of the Rashid Rover which will enable us to study the surface of the Moon in greater detail. The Hope Probe is continuing to surprise us with new phenomena on Mars and keeping us busy. The six-month mission to the ISS will tell us more about the impact of long-duration spaceflight on astronauts and help us prepare for crewed missions to Mars.”

Here’s a rundown of the UAE’s space exploration milestones this 2023.

Long space mission

AlNeyadi is set to become the first Arab astronaut to conduct a long-duration space mission. He and Hazzaa AlMansoori, who was the first Emirati who flew to ISS for an eight-day mission in September 2019, have recently completed the European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus training for the SpaceX Crew 6 mission.

The upcoming mission will make the UAE only the eleventh country in the world to send its astronauts on a long-term mission to space. According to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), AlNeyadi “will conduct numerous in-depth and advanced scientific experiments as part of the second mission of the UAE Astronaut Programme that will pave the way for future UAE missions and further push the capabilities for journey beyond Earth.”

The earliest targeted launch date for SpaceX Crew-6 mission is mid-February 2023, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Aside from AlNeyadi, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft named Endeavour will also carry NASA astronauts, including mission commander Stephen Bowen and pilot Woody Hoburg; along with Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will join as mission specialist like AlNeyadi. This will be the first spaceflight for Hoburg, Fedyaev and AlNeyadi, and the fourth mission to space for Bowen.

MBRSC will provide further details of AlNeyadi’s six-month space mission at a press conference this month.

Marhaba, Moon

This April would be the most critical stage for the first Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM), when Rashid Rover is expected to land on the Moon’s southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris (Sea of Cold).

In a previous interview with Gulf News, ELM project manager Dr Hamad Al Marzooqi said MBRSC engineers are gearing for the next ‘critical stages’ of Rashid Rover which is cruising to the Moon, safely stored inside a special compartment of the Japanese lunar lander Hakuto-R.

“Rashid Rover is in good health – that is a very good sign in our mission. There will be some critical points in the coming weeks – we are looking forward to them and we will keep everyone posted once we reach those points,” noted Al Marzooqi, adding “landing would be the most critical part of the lunar mission and only few countries have achieved it successfully

Al Marzooqi continued: “Once Hakuto-R safely lands, the rover will be released and we can start our operation where we will deploy the mast and antenna of the rover, following check-up and calibration of all instruments and ensuring that all systems are working properly. Then the ‘big moment’ will happen when Rashid Rover will touch the lunar surface and we can declare that the UAE has stepped on the Moon for the first time.”

The four-wheeled Rashid Rover — named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, builder of modern Dubai — will study the Moon’s surroundings for one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14.75 days on Earth. It will also perform numerous scientific experiments to measure the effectiveness of materials on the lunar surface, and explore the process of overcoming natural obstacles on the Moon.

Region’s biggest satellite

This year, the UAE is also expected to launch the region’s biggest and most powerful satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket. Named after the President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, MBZ-Sat, is designed to be three times more efficient than KhalifaSat — the first UAE-made satellite launched in 2018.

The 700kg MBZ-Sat will have advanced high-resolution camera that can take images from 500 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

The first Earth-observation satellites by the UAE were DubaiSat-1 and DubaiSat-2, that were jointly built by Emiratis and South Koreans. KhalifaSat was the first Emirati-built satellite. MBZ-Sat is expected to improve image quality and increase download speed to supply content more efficiently to customers.

‘The best is still to come’

The UAE’s space ambitions can be best summed up by a previous tweet by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, when he visited MBRSC to witness the launch of Rashid Rover, the Arab world’s first mission to the Moon.

He said: “Rashid Rover is part of an ambitious space program in the UAE. We started with Mars and now moving to the moon while eying Venus. Our goal is to share knowledge, develop our capabilities, and add a scientific footprint in human history. Reaching the Moon is yet another step forward in the UAE’s ambitious journey. The aspirations of Emirati people are boundless and nothing can hold them back. The best is still to come.”



Update: 30.01.2023


UAE lunar rover will test 1st artificial intelligence on the moon with Canada





Raumfahrt+Astronomie-Blog von CENAP 0