UAE partnering with ispace, a Japanese company, to rover to the moon in 2022
iSpace, a lunar exploration company, announced on Wednesday that it will transport a United Arab Emirates rover to the moon in 2022, as the UAE seeks rapid expansion in the space exploration industry to diversify its economy.
On Wednesday, the Japanese lunar robotics company ispace revealed that it will send a rover designed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the moon in 2022.
The rover was created by a team of scientists and engineers from Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai, while the SpaceX Falcon 9 was being transported by Ispace.
The rocket will start from Florida in order to enter a moon region that has not been investigated previously. It is the first moon launch on Earth.
According to the Japanese startup, it will also offer communication technologies on the lunar surface to the UAE. As per Adnan AlRais, MBRSC's Mars 2117 programme manager, it will also supply the lander that transports the rover from the moon's orbit to the lunar surface.
Only three countries have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon: the United States, Russia, and China. Originally, the UAE expected to send its rover to the moon in 2024, however, AlRais informs CNN that MBRSC "saw an opportunity to launch much faster with ispace."
The UAE mission wants to know more about lunar dust, soil, and airless bodies, which are space structures that lack an atmosphere. According to AlRais, one of the experiments may help determine the materials used in space suits or the landing systems used to land humans on the moon. He adds that the landing site will be revealed shortly.
The rover, called Rashid after Dubai's former king, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, will hold six instruments and weigh less than 22 pounds. Using two high-resolution sensors, a microscopic camera, and a thermal imaging camera, it can collect and transmit data and photographs to scientists on Earth.
Among the difficulties it faces is dealing with the harsh climate on the moon, where temperatures can drop to minus 200 degrees Celsius.
NASA plans to send a $250 million rover named VIPER to the moon's south pole in 2023. Other nations, including the United Kingdom, Russia, and Japan, are planning lunar missions as well.
According to ispace, the vision is to create a colony on the moon by 2040, with the first step being to search for water.