To infinity and beyond…

After a successful Mission to Mars just last year in February 2021, the UAE is gearing up for the Rashid Moon Rover mission. This will be the first Emirati mission to the moon and the countdown is on. A new date and time for the lift-off has been confirmed but this depends on the weather conditions on the day.

The UAE has teamed up with a Japanese lunar exploration company called space which will be responsible for delivering the UAE’s Rashid Rover on its Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and ispace have announced a new target launch date of Wednesday, November 30, at 12.46pm (UAE time).


The mission will lift off from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This event is a landmark mission for the UAE and Japan, with ispace on track to becoming the first company that will carry out commercial cargo missions to the moon.

Founder of ispace, Takeshi Hakamada, announced the new launch date from mission control in Tokyo. He said that their first mission will “lay the groundwork for unleashing the moon’s potential and transforming it into a robust and vibrant economic system.”

The Rashid Rover is one of the many governments and commercial payloads that will fly to the moon on mission 1.



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Rashid Rover will spend one lunar day on the moon, which is equivalent to 14 Earth days. The rover will be sent to spend that time studying the moon’s surface, the geology and lunar dust. It will take thousands of pictures of its surroundings with high-resolution cameras. The Emirati engineers are already on the ground in Florida finalising the preparations for the launch.

A typical launch day

On launch, the FalconX 9 rocket will take the rover to orbit in space and from there the Rashid Rover will make the journey to the moon on its own.

FalconX 9 is set to generate a thrust of more than 771 tones at sea level to blast off into space. We can expect the rover to end its journey and reach the moon by April 2023. The mission hopes to land on the moon’s Atlas crater, which is located on the outer edge of the southeastern area known as Mare Frigoris – which means the sea of cold.

Images: ispace