Jan. 4, 2023

UAE aims for lunar landing as Japanese-US mission launches rover

Peninsula/Economy

The story: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a domestically-developed lunar rover with the help of a joint Japanese-US mission. UAE Vice President and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum first announced the project in Sept. 2020. The Rashid Explorer is the first Arab lunar probe, underpinning the broader Emirati space exploration agenda.

The coverage: The Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Dec. 11 that the Rashid Explorer was launched on board a spacecraft developed by Japanese startup ispace. The launch—carried out by US company SpaceX—took place at Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida.             

  • Maktoum said the Rashid project “is part of an ambitious space program” that “started with Mars…passing through the Moon…to Venus.” He added, “Our goal is to transfer knowledge and develop our capabilities.”

  • The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre’s Twitter account...

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