HomeScience & InnovationUnited Arab Emirates tests the prototype of its first lunar rover

United Arab Emirates tests the prototype of its first lunar rover

The United Arab Emirates space agency is accelerating its lunar program. The Rashid rover was originally scheduled to fly to the Moon by 2024 but will finally leave this year. A week ago, the agency announced that it had tested a prototype.

 The Rashid rover

UAE space dreams are looking forward. With a first short  stay  in the ISS , a probe around Mars , the Moon is also in the sights. The  UAE Space Agency , the space agency of the United Arab Emirates, wants to begin its exploration of the lunar soil in all modesty with the Rashid rover , which weighs only ten kilos. 

Its size is small with almost 53 cm long and wide. It will have two high- resolution cameras , one of which is thermal. It will also have a Langmuir probe to study the lunar plasma. Its power supply will be done with the help of solar panels placed on the sides.

Testing the prototype of the Rashid rover in the desert of the United Arab Emirates. © MBRSC

Rashid being very light, the Emirati agency took every precaution to ensure that he stuck to the ground. Its four wheels are lined with large grooves. The  UAE Space Agency also specifies that it is capable of overcoming obstacles 10 cm high and descending an inclined plane of up to 20 degrees. The UAE recently designed and tested a prototype of the rover, built at the  Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai.

UAE tests Rashid rover before lunar mission

Destination Lake of Dreams

The rover will be dropped on the Moon by a Japanese lander called Hakuto-R. It is provided by the iSpace company. The set should leave around October aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket . It’s also a great test for iSpace and its Hakuto-R platform, which the teams have been developing for ten years. They were working on it at first as part  of Google ‘s Lunar X Prize competition, a competition canceled without a winner in 2018.

The rover will be deposited on the visible face of the Moon, in the  Lacus Somniorum – the Lake of Dreams. It is an unexplored plain and created by basaltic lava flows , which is rather unprecedented to study.

rashid-lunar-rover-arab-emirates-min lander
The Hakuto-R © iSpace lunar lander
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet is one of the administrator of Teknonel. As a software developer, he loves to share his knowledge in related topics. He is highly familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, publishing, and performance analysis as well as product reviews.

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