UAE: Rashid Rover 2 Set to Achieve Its Moon Landing

The team at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has already started working on the new lunar rover called Rashid 2 that will bring the UAE to the surface of the Moon, MBRSC director general Salem Al Marri has confirmed to Khaleej Times.

The deployment of the first Rashid Rover on the Moon on April 25 did not materialise after Hakuto-R Mission 1, the Japanese-made lunar lander, failed to accomplish a soft landing on the lunar surface.

“We have performed a successful mission”

But it was not a failure, AlMarri, who has around two decades of experience in engineering and space exploration under his belt, asserted during an exclusive phone interview with Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

AlMarri said, personally, he would have really loved to see images of the first Rashid Rover on the Moon. But he was also aware that lunar landings are difficult and only have a 50 per cent success rate.

On to the next mission

The team also got a boost of confidence after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited MBRSC on April 26 and directed the team to immediately start implementing the Rashid 2 project.

Both rovers are named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the builder of modern Dubai, and father of Sheikh Mohammed.

“The mission of the spacecraft carrying the Rashid Rover did not succeed in landing on the Moon. However, we succeeded in raising the ceiling of our ambitions to reach the Moon,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that day, adding: “We succeeded in creating a team of young men and women capable of managing advanced space projects. We succeeded in building a space sector from scratch within 10 years.”

AlMarri told Khaleej Times the initial plans for the next lunar mission are taking shape. No technical details yet were shared but AlMarri confirmed the same team that created the Rashid Rover are all involved in the next mission.

“We have a versatile team,” AlMarri noted, adding: “We were not able to get the chance to test Rashid Rover on the Moon, so we have not decided yet on any technical improvements for the next rover.”

No size and specifications of Rashid Rover 2 were also shared as these will be determined when MBRSC has finalised which space company it will be hitching a ride with to the Moon.


Khaleeji Times

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