The missile is launched from Florida to reach a previously unexplored area on the moon’s surface. It will be ISPace’s first lunar mission.
The Japanese startup says it will also supply the UAE with communications technology on the moon’s surface. According to Adnan Al Rayes, director of the Mars 2117 program at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center, he will also equip the probe that will transport the spacecraft from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon.
Only three countries – the United States, Russia and China – have successfully landed a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. The United Arab Emirates had originally planned to send its rover to the moon in 2024, but Al Rayyes told CNN that the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center “saw an opportunity to launch space even before that.”
The UAE mission hopes to learn more about moon dust, moon soil, and airless objects – space objects that lack an atmosphere. One experiment could also help determine the types of materials used in spacesuits or landing systems to place people on the moon, Rees says. He adds that the landing site will be announced soon.
Named after Rashid, after the former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the car will carry six tools and weigh less than 22 lbs. Using two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic camera and a thermal imaging camera, data and images are collected and sent to scientists on site.
Settled on Mars
The UAE mission to the Moon is part of a broader strategy for the UAE to reach Mars by 2117. Scientists say the unmanned lunar mission could be a building block for this project.
Rayyes says: “The moon is our gateway to Mars.” “The Mars 2117 strategy is our long-term vision for building a settlement on the surface of Mars.
“To do that, we need to focus on developing science and technology,” he adds. “We will use the moon to test these technologies.”
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