The Rashid rover is on track to land on the lunar surface in the fourth quarter of 2022
A model of the Rashid rover, the first Arab mission to the Moon, was exhibited at the 2022 World Government Summit (WGS).
The Rashid rover is set to land on the lunar surface in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Experts from the World Government Summit in Dubai highlighted key features of the UAE Rashid Rover to visiting delegates.
In an Instagram post, members of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) are seen crowded around the model of the Rashid Rover at WGS.
The engineering model of the Rashid rover has already been showcased at the Dubai Airshow and the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held in the emirate last year.
Where will the rover land and why?
The AI-powered lunar rover named Rashid will be sent to the Moon next year with the help of Japan’s iSpace which will provide payload delivery services to the United Arab Emirates.
The rover’s main 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 northeast side of the Moon, Lacus Somniorum is characterized by its unique composition formed by basaltic lava flows, which give it a reddish hue.
The lunar rover will generate thousands of images and useful scientific data throughout the lunar day.
The United Arab Emirates‘ Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) had entered into a collaboration with the French space agency to provide sophisticated cameras enabling high-resolution images for the country’s lunar mission.
MBRSC has partnered with the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) which is the space agency of the French government, to provide two optical cameras for space exploration (CASPEX) for the Rashid rover.
The CASPEX camera atop the rover’s mast will provide all-round visibility of the rover’s surroundings.
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Images from the French camera mounted at the rear of the training tracks will be analyzed to determine wheel sinkage and study detailed wheel-soil interaction. This data will be important for designing the mobility systems of future rovers.
Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, former Director General of MBRSC, previously said: “The UAE aims to conduct innovative and sustainable exploration of the moon through the Emirates Lunar Mission. We believe that collaboration is the way forward for space exploration and the more we work together to address challenges for the good of humanity, the greater our collective prospects for the future.
As the temperature on the moon varies widely between day and night, one of the biggest challenges the rover faces is withstanding the harsh environment of the moon, where temperatures can reach minus 200 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, UAE authorities have already tested the 10kg lunar rover in the desert.
A video released in early March by the Dubai government‘s media office showed him successfully navigating the desert sands at different times of the day and night.