The UAE has finalised five landing sites for its ambitious Emirates Lunar Mission and negotiations are underway to pick a lander, a top official said.
The selection of the landing sites is based on the criteria that there are no slopes bigger than 15 degrees, distribution of boulder is less than 30cms of height, near the side of the moon and targeting mid-latitude locations.
A successful landing would put the UAE in a very exclusive list of countries that have landed missions on the Moon. Only three countries – the US, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China – have landed 20 of the 44 missions to the lunar surface till date. Rashid Rover will also be the first-ever Arab lunar mission, just two months after the UAE successfully launched the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, Hope probe to Mars.