The Emrati team aims to study the lunar surface including soil and thermal properties © Getty Images
The Emrati team aims to study the lunar surface including soil and thermal properties © Getty Images

UAE launches mission to the Moon

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
29 September 2020

A lunar mission that aims to put a rover on the Moon by 2024 has been announced by the UAE.

The Emirates Lunar Mission will be designed and built by an Emirati team of engineers and researchers and if successful, it will be the first Arab country to land on the Moon.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and prime minister of Dubai, said: “By exploring the Moon we are drafting a new inspiring chapter in the UAE’s growing list of achievements in space and beyond.

“We chose to name the lunar rover Rashid, after the builder of the modern renaissance of Dubai and one of the founders of the UAE. This project is the largest national and humanitarian project in the region.

“We have a large-scale space programme combined with an unwavering will, strategic governance and an ambitious cadre of scientists, researchers and engineers. The future awaiting us is full of achievements and innovations. What lies ahead is even more promising.”

The mission aims to study the lunar surface, including soil, thermal properties, radioactivity, and dust particles.

The rover, equipped with technologies including a system of motion sensors to improve how it overcomes obstacles, will be powered with solar panels. It will boast an array of cameras including 3D, thermal imaging and microscope, and is expected to send back at least 1,000 images.

Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), said: “The data procured from the Emirates Lunar Mission will create a knowledge base that will help in building a research station on the Moon and answer questions related to the formation of both the solar system and the planets in them. This will in turn put humans on the surface of the Moon one day.” 

Adnan Al Rais, Mars 2117 programme director at MBRSC, said: “The Emirates Lunar Mission paves the way for the realisation of the Mars 2117 programme’s strategy.” 

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