Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Sunday, Jan 01, 2023 | Jamadi Al Thani 9, 1444
Published: Wed 12 Oct 2022, 6:05 PM
Last updated: Wed 12 Oct 2022, 7:27 PM
The UAE’s mission to the moon now has a launch window. Japan-based ispace inc, which will land the Rashid Rover on the lunar surface, said its Mission 1 (M1) lunar lander launch has a target window of November 9 – 15.
The lunar lander, which is part of the Hakuto-R programme, will blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The M1 lander will carry multiple commercial and government payloads, including two rovers to the surface of the moon.
The UAE’s Rashid Rover is all set for the historic mission, with the final phase of testing now complete, the Dubai Crown Prince said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum congratulated the team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, praising their efforts in developing the lunar rover.
He wrote: “We announce the success of the final phase of the tests for the explorer in the first Arab mission of its kind. Our next destination is the surface of the moon.”
As of September 2022, the final functional testing of the flight model at the IABG mbH Space Centre in Germany has been completed. The lander is now being prepared for transport to the launch site in Florida.
After its launch, M1 will be operated from the Hakuto-R Mission Control Centre (MCC) in Tokyo’s central business district, Nihonbashi. The MCC will monitor the lander’s attitude, temperature, and other conditions; send commands and data to the lander; and receive images and video data during transit to the moon as well as from the lunar surface.
“We are focused on each of our missions, but now that the launch window has been set for M1, we are ready for the challenge,” said Takeshi Hakamada, founder, representative director, and CEO of ispace. “For me, this is a milestone on the road to realising our vision, but I am already proud of our results. I look forward to watching the launch alongside all of our employees and those who have supported us.”
The UAE’s rover is named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai. A successful mission would make the UAE the fourth country globally to land on the moon.
The rover would land in an unexplored area called ‘Mare Frigoris’ on the moon. Also known as the ‘Sea of Cold’, Mare Frigoris lies in the far lunar north, according to Nasa. A ‘mare’ is a flat, dark plain on the lunar surface.
The mission will see the rover collect images and information that allows the UAE to study how to build a human settlement on the moon, prepare for future missions to study Mars, and provide the scientific community with answers about the solar system.
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