The UAE has launched the first Arab-built moon rover

Sheikh Mohammed: "Our next step is bigger and higher"
The UAE has launched the first Arab-built moon rover
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Photo credit: WAM)

The UAE launched its latest space mission, Rashid Rover, as part of the Emirates Lunar Mission representing a pioneering national endeavor in the space sector and a historic moment that, if successful, will be the first Emirati and Arab mission to land on the surface of the Moon.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, emphasized that the UAE’s space ambitions continue to be realized by achieving high levels of accomplishment and empowering space cadres to develop the national space sector and consolidating the country’s advanced position in space.

While witnessing the launch of the Rashid Rover from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre’s (MBRSC) Mission Control Centre, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid commented: “A new stopover for our nation… A new stopover for our cadres and the youth… A new stopover is leading to our journey to explore the Moon.”

“Rashid Rover is part of the UAE’s ambitious space program, which began with Mars,  progressed to the Moon, and soon to Venus. Our goal is to increase our knowledge, enhance our capabilities, and leave a scientific legacy in the history of space and humanity.

“Reaching the Moon is a milestone in our ambitious march to progress for our nation and its people, who know no limits. And our next step is bigger and higher.”

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Accompanying Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at the MBRSC’s Mission Control Centre were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council; Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of the MBRSC; and Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MBRSC.

Rashid Rover will cruise through space for nearly four months, aiming to land in the Moon’s Atlas Crater in April 2023.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is part of the new 2021-2031 strategy launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), which includes the development and launch of Rashid, the first Emirati lunar rover named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, builder of modern Dubai.

Being referred to as one of the world’s most compact rovers, the Rashid Rover was designed and developed by Emirati engineers from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre team. It aims to pave the way for humanity to make even more qualitative advances in science, technology, communication, and robotics while enabling us to prepare for future missions to the Moon and beyond.

Commenting on this achievement, Maktoum bin Mohammed said, “We congratulate their Highnesses, the rulers of the Emirates and its people, on launching the “Explorer Rashid” to the moon. We congratulate the Arabs on the launch of the first Arab mission to explore the moon’s surface, and we wish them success.”

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