Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre receives first signal from Rashid rover
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Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre receives first signal from Rashid rover

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre receives first signal from Rashid rover

The rover, that lifted off on December 11, is scheduled to land after a four-month cruise phase

Rashid Rover

The UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has received the first signal from the Rashid rover following its launch.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to make the announcement.

“From a distance of 440,000 km from the surface of the Earth .. the explorer Rashid just sent the first message to the space centre in Al-Khawaneej,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

The centre has confirmed the completion of the initial health check of the rover that lifted off on December 11.

Read: UAE: Rashid rover en route to the Moon after successful takeoff

The Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) team established a telemetry lock with the rover on Wednesday in collaboration with the ispace ground station.

The rover is officially in good health and is set to land after a four-month cruise phase, state-run agency WAM reported.

“The establishment of communication with the Rashid rover and the steady progress of the mission convey a strong statement about the nation’s capabilities and its commitment to ensuring the success of the upcoming phases of lunar exploration,” said Hamad Obaid AlMansoori, MBRSC’s chairman.

“We have accomplished the second milestone of the mission, which takes us a step closer to achieving the mission’s goals.”

Following the telemetry lock, the team at the MBRSC Mission Control Centre will receive telemetry data every 30 seconds throughout the operation. The lock represents a fixed signal for data transmission.

Meanwhile, the telemetry data confirmed that each subsystem has been powered on, while a thermal reading indicated that the subsystems are in good internal health.

Emirates Lunar Mission milestones

  • The Rashid rover lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida on Sunday, December 11.
  • Approximately 46 minutes into the flight, the lander carrying the rover was detached, after which the telemetry lock was accomplished.

  • The mission has entered the cruise phase, which could last up to 140 days. Throughout the phase, the operators will contact the rover almost daily for 10 minutes to perform basic health checks, and to coordinate with the lander ground control team to ensure that the rover’s battery charging status is consistent.
  • The following arrival phase (entry, descent, and landing), is the the most intense as the lander will have to land on the lunar surface based on its system’s calculation to chart a course for a specific landing spot on the moon.
  • Once the lander has touched down, the deployment, commissioning and drive-off phase will begin. Upon completion of the post-landing checkout, instrument commissioning and initial data collection will commence.
  • This will be followed by the nominal surface operations phase – for 10-12 days, the Rashid rover will be engaged in continuous surface research and image capture.
  • The final two phases after the lunar day, which lasts 14 earth days, are hibernation, followed by decommissioning.
  • The rover then prepares for the lunar night, which also lasts 14 earth days.
  • When the secondary communication is activated, all information captured is downloaded.

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