The UAE’s Moon Rover navigates the desert on a test mission

Let’s go with the Rashid Rover!

Authorities in the UAE have tested its lunar rover in the desert. The rover, due to land on the lunar surface later this year, looks ready for the Arab world’s first mission to the lunar surface.

The Dubai Government Media Office has shared a video of the Emirates Lunar Mission team testing the 10kg rover in the desert. It can be seen successfully navigating the desert sands at various times of the day and night while officers take notes.

Named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai, the rover is scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. He will take off from Florida, USA, aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket.

The rover’s primary landing site on the moon is Lacus Somniorum, also known as the Lake of Dreams, an area that has yet to be explored. Located on the moon’s northeastern side, Lacus Somniorum is notable for its unique composition formed by flows of basal lava that give it a reddish hue.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) is collaborating with local and international entities to develop the science program for the lunar mission and to support the development of the main instruments onboard the Rashid rover.

The four-wheel drive rover would be tasked with helping experts better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary on the moon. It will send data and images back to Earth using two high-resolution cameras: microscopic and thermal.

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