New launch date for Emirates Lunar Mission announced New launch date for Emirates Lunar Mission announced
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New launch date for Emirates Lunar Mission announced

New launch date for Emirates Lunar Mission announced

Upon landing, the Rashid rover will explore the characteristics of the lunar soil

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New launch date for Emirates Lunar Mission announced

A new launch date for the first Emirati mission to the surface of the moon has been announced.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is now scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, at 11.38am UAE time on Sunday, December 11.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) had signed an agreement with Japanese lunar exploration company ispace in 2021, enabling the latter to provide payload delivery services to the mission.

The Rashid rover will be transported on ispace’s lunar lander during the company’s ‘Mission 1’ as part of its commercial programme ‘HAKUTO-R’. The lander will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Read: UAE partners with Japan for mission to send ‘Rashid’ rover to the moon

“The initial launch attempt of the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander was postponed, allowing SpaceX to perform additional pre-flight checks of the launch vehicle,” ispace said in a statement on December 7.

“No issues with the lander itself have been identified. As of today, no major operational changes are planned, with lunar landing scheduled for the end of April 2023,” the statement added.

The mission’s new launch date has been pushed forward by 13 days from its original one.

Read: First Emirati mission to the Moon set to launch on November 28

Upon landing, the Rashid rover is expected to explore the characteristics of the lunar soil, the petrography and geology of the Moon, dust movement, surface plasma conditions, and the Moon’s photoelectron sheath.

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