UAE sets new ambitious timeline for launch of moon rover

Space Science

FILE – In this June 25, 2020 file photo, Engineers Mahmood al-Nasser, left, and Mohammad Nasser al-Emadi test the Emirates Mars Mission probe’s “flat sat,” at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On Wednesday, April 14, 2021, the center announced a more ambitious timeline for sending its first rover to the moon, partnering with Japan’s ispace company to send the vehicle on an unmanned spacecraft by 2022, rather than 2024. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)

MYSTERY WIRE (DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ space center plans to launch a rover to the moon sooner than initially planned, announcing a new and more ambitious timeline.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center said Wednesday it will partner with Japan’s ispace to send the “Rashid” rover — named after Dubai’s ruling family — to the moon.

The aim is to land the rover via an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by 2022, rather than 2024. The lunar mission is part of the Arab Gulf state’s broader strategy to become a major player in the field of space exploration.

Already, an Emirati space probe is studying the atmosphere around Mars and the first Emirati astronaut was sent to the International Space Station in 2019.

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