UAE to second rover to Moon by 2025

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The UAE plans to send several space vehicles, including rovers and orbiters, to the Moon as part of the nation’s exploration of space….reports Asian Lite News

The plan includes building and launching Moon orbiters, forming new partnerships to send Emirati astronauts to the lunar surface, reports Asian Lite News

The UAE plans to send several space vehicles, including rovers and orbiters, to the Moon as part of the nation’s exploration of space.

This was revealed by Salem Al Marri, deputy director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, at a global space conference in Russia. After the first rover, Rashid, is sent next year, a second rover will be developed and taken to the lunar surface by 2024 or 2025.

The plan includes building and launching Moon orbiters, forming new partnerships to send Emirati astronauts to the lunar surface and supporting local start-ups by using their tech or science in the missions.

The efforts are part of the UAE’s strategy to be involved in global space exploration efforts. These are currently focused on setting up a human base on the Moon from where astronauts will be sent to Mars.

In September 2019, UAE sent the first Emirati into space as part of a three-member crew that blasted off on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan for an eight-day mission.

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Then in February, its ‘Hope’ probe successfully entered Mars’ orbit on a journey to reveal the secrets of Martian weather, making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission. The UAE is following it up on one more adventure: exploration of the moon.

Lunar exploration company iSpace will transport a United Arab Emirates rover to the moon in 2022, the company had said, as the UAE seeks to expand its space sector. The UAE is pushing for rapid expansion in the space exploration business to diversify its economy.

The 2022 launch will be iSpace’s first mission of this kind and will use a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to be launched from Florida. Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will build the Rashid lunar rover. It will remain on the moon after data collection is completed.

The Dubai Media Office had said that the 10-kilogramme rover will be an integral part of the efforts to build the first settlement on Mars in 2117 – one of the UAE’s most ambitious plans.

“Not only is the Moon exciting to study, it’s also closer to get to. It’s much easier to do things around the Moon than, for example, sending a rover to Mars. Going to the Moon for us is a dual goal of achieving scientific and technological objectives, as well as preparing for future missions to land on the surface of Mars,” Al Marri said.

He said some companies and research entities are willing to contribute financially to send their payloads on the second rover.

“In the next mission, we do see interest from commercial players and from start-up companies in the UAE that we want to support and endorse. We want our next and future rovers to be used as platforms by start-up companies, universities, commercial players to test their ideas, to implement them,” he said.

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