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The United Arab Emirates will launch its first lunar rover in November, the mission manager said Monday. Hamad Al Marzooqi told The National, a state-run newspaper, that the “Rashid” rover, named after Dubai’s ruling family, would be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida sometime between November 9 and 15.
The exact date will be announced next month, he said. The rover is scheduled to be launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and deposited on the moon by Japan’s ispace lander sometime in March. “We have finished testing the rover and we are satisfied with the results,” Al Marzooqi was quoted as saying. as they say.
“The rover has been integrated with the lander and is ready for launch.” The lunar mission is part of the UAE’s broader strategy to become a major player in space exploration. If the lunar mission is successful, the UAE and Japan would join the ranks of only the US, Russia and China as nations to have placed a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
An Emirates satellite is already orbiting Mars to study the red planet’s atmosphere. The United Arab Emirates has teamed up with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch this probe, which will swing into Mars orbit in February 2021.
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 (22-pound) rover will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscope camera, a thermal imager, a probe and other equipment. The United Arab Emirates plans to develop the most advanced commercial satellite in the Middle East to produce high-resolution satellite imagery. It also set an ambitious goal of building a human colony on Mars by 2117.