Japanese lunar exploration company space will partner with the UAE space center to transport a rover to the moon in 2022 amid pressure from the state to expand its ispace sector.
Last year, Shekh Mohammed bin Radhid al-Maktoum of Dubai announced that in 2024 a lunar rover would land on an unexplored area on the surface of the moon.
He said the robber would be called Radhid in memory of his late father, Sheikh Rashid. bin Saeed al-Maktoum. Due to the accelerated program, the Rashid lunar rover – which will be designed by an Emirati team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai – will instead aim for the moon next year.
MBRSC program manager Adnan al-Rais said the center took the opportunity to launch ahead of schedule through a partnership with space. During Mission 1, the rover will be launched by Florida space and transported using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The rocket will launch an ispace lander into orbit around the moon and the lander will propel itself to the surface. The exact location of the moon will be announced shortly. After landing, the UAE rover will emerge and navigate the surface of the moon itself.
The rover will bring six instruments for data collection to help scientists better understand lunar dust and airless astronomical bodies. Under the terms of the contract, space will provide the mission with wired communication and power during the cruise phase and wireless communication on the moon. The Rashid rover will remain on the moon after data collection is complete.
This will be the first mission of its kind for the Arab world and for space, which aims to provide commercial lunar transportation services. A successful mission would make the UAE and Japan the next nations to land a spacecraft on the moon, following the lead of the US, Russia and China.
“Our mission through scientific endeavors such as the Emirates Lunar Mission is to keep the UAE flag high and lead the way in countries that contribute to scientific achievements that will change the future for humanity,” said MBRSC Director General Yousuf Hamad al-Shaibani.
The UAE launched its National iSpace Program in 2017 to develop local technical knowledge and expertise. It wants to boost its space sector as part of a broader policy of economic diversification as it reduces its dependence on oil. Last year it successfully sent a probe into orbit around Mars;
the probe continues to collect and transmit data about the atmosphere and climate of Mars. The UAE has set a long-term goal of developing a settlement on Mars by 2117 – a century after the creation of the space program.