The United Arab Emirates (UAE) successfully launched the Rashid moon rover, marking its first mission to the surface of the moon.
According to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai on Sunday, the Rashid rover will provide “novel and highly valued data, images, and insights,” as well as “collect scientific data on matters relating to the origin of the solar system, our planet and life.”
The UAE-made Rashid rover was onboard Hakuto-R, a Japanese lunar lander, deployed on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the United States.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister, tweeted after the launch that “Rashid rover is part of UAE’s ambitious space programme, which began with Mars, progressed to the Moon, and soon to Venus. Our next step is bigger and higher.”
In September, MBRSC signed an agreement with China National Space Administration to have joint space explorations, including sending the next UAE rover aboard the Chang’e-7 to land on the moon, which is reportedly planned to launch in 2026.