Rashid Rover
Rashid Rover’s core scientific mission is to better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary across the moon. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The UAE will launch its lunar rover, Rashid, not before November 22, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said on Monday.

The rover will be launched from the Kennedy Space Centre, the authority confirmed.

“The Emirates Lunar Mission’s (ELM) Rashid Rover launch has been confirmed no earlier than November 22, 2022. The rover will take off from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket,” the MBRSC said in an update posted on its social media platforms.

Earlier this month, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, announced in a tweet that the space vehicle has cleared all its tests.

“We thank the team at [MBRSC] for their efforts in developing the Rashid Rover, the UAE’s first mission to the moon. The rover has officially cleared all required tests, bringing the first Arab mission to the lunar surface one step closer. Our next stop: the Moon,” he had tweeted.

Final integration

The MBRSC has also said the Rashid Rover is now ready for its final integration process with the launch vehicle before its launch window. Designed and developed fully by an Emirati team, Rashid Rover is said to be the world’s most compact rover to land on the moon.

Rigorous testing

Over the last four months, the rover was exposed to a series of rigorous internal and external reviews in the UAE, France and Germany. The reviews were designed to test out each of the multitudes of systems and subsystems of the rover during the launch stage, cruise stage, and descent stage.

Mission goal

The primary goal of the mission is to study the moon’s plasma and to provide answers about moon dust, the lunar surface, mobility on the moon’s surface, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles.

ELM is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA). It aims to pave the way for more space exploration missions by the UAE, and also encourage scientific progress and innovation.