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UAE Makes History By Launching the Rashid Rover and the Arab World’s First Lunar Mission

Rashid Rover

The UAE has successfully kickstarted the Arab world’s first lunar mission with the launch of the Rashid Rover. On Sunday, December 11, the UAE-built moon rover took off precisely at the scheduled time (11:38am GST) from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to embark on its 385,000km journey.


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A post shared by مركز محمد بن راشد للفضاء MBRSC (@mbrspacecentre)

The launch was overseen by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who were present in the control room. The Dubai ruler took to social media to state, “Reaching the moon is another milestone in the ambitious march of a country and a nation whose aspirations have no limits. Rashid Rover is part of UAE’s ambitious space programme that started with Mars passing through the Moon and to Venus. Passing on knowledge, developing our capabilities, and adding a scientific footprint in human history is or goal.”

The rover is named after Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai, and was built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). Currently being delivered by the Japanese-built Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, it is due to land in April 2023. A successful delivery will make the Hakuto-R the first commercial spacecraft ever to make a controlled landing on the moon. Once on the moon, the Rashid Rover will “analyze the plasma on the lunar surface and conduct experiments to understand more about lunar dust,” according to the MBRSC.

Read Next: The 4 Major UAE Space Missions to Look Forward to in 2023

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