Dubai: The historic launch of the UAE-made Rashid Rover to the Moon will be streamed live by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), beginning at 10.30am on Wednesday, November 30.
Viewers can visit MBRSC channel (www.mbrsc.ae/lunar) to watch mission briefings from the first Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) and catch all the action from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA — culminating in the actual lift-off at 12.39pm (UAE time).
Rashid Rover is currently safely stored inside Japanese-made lunar lander Hakuto-R M1 (mission 1), which will be carried to space by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
MBRSC earlier said the lift-off date and time are subject to change, depending on weather and other conditions at launch site.
Forecasters from Space Launch Delta 45, the unit of the United States Space Force responsible for all space launch operations from the East Coast, however, assured the “weather on Wednesday is excellent” for SpaceX launch of Japanese moon lander that will transport Rashid Rover to the lunar surface.
“High pressure builds across the eastern U.S. ... bringing dry conditions to start the week. The associated front is expected to remain well west of the area going into the primary launch opportunity early Wednesday morning with breezy south-easterly flow,” Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters said.
The launch window is at 3.39am Eastern Time (the easternmost time zone in the United States) or 12.39pm in the UAE.
A backup opportunity is available on Thursday, December 1, at 3.37am ET or 12.37pm UAE time.
What will the rover study?
In particular, Rashid Rover will study the characteristics of lunar soil, the petrography (composition and properties of lunar rocks) and geology of the Moon. It will also take photos of the moon’s dust movement, surface plasma conditions, and the lunar regolith (blanket of superficial deposits covering solid rocks).
Rashid Rover will help scientists better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary across the Moon. It will also provide fresh data for the development of new technologies that can be used to unravel the origins of the Earth and our solar system.
The success of the first Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) will make the UAE the first Arab country and among the first countries in the world to land a spacecraft on the Moon, after the United States, former Soviet Union and China.