Rashid Rover will undertake a 385,000 kilometre long journey that has the potential to make UAE, the fourth country to land on the Moon.
17 January 2023, 12:00 AM
28 February 2023, 12:00 AM
A month after it blasted off to space, the UAE-built Rashid Rover remains in perfect shape as it cruises in space towards the Moon. It's right on track for its epic mission that will make the Emirates the fourth country to land on the lunar surface, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced on Friday.
The Arab world's first lunar rover made history after successfully taking off on December 11. Named Rashid after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai, the launch took place on schedule at 11.38 am local time.
Japan-based ispace Inc will land the Emirati rover on the Moon through its HAKUTO-R lander and SpaceX performed additional pre-flight checks of the vehicle before it took off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US.
It has so far travelled a whopping 1.34 million kilometres — that's equivalent to driving your car and circumnavigating the world 33.5 times.
By January 20, it is expected to reach its farthest point of approximately 1.4 million kilometres from Earth.
The Emirates Lunar Mission team on Earth is keeping a close watch on the health of the Rashid Rover, including its subsystems and instruments.
The team is now preparing for the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase and surface operations.
As part of the current cruise phase, the team will conduct 12 simulated mission rehearsals organised at the MBRSC ground station for surface operations before the rover’s lunar landing in end-April.
The rehearsals will allow the engineering team to prepare their programmes for execution post the lunar landing while enabling different subsystem teams to sync their work.