Failure is not an option…

Back in December, the UAE-built Rashid Rover jetted off to space, but on April 25, we received news that Japan’s ispace lost contact with the lunar spacecraft during the attempt to land on the moon.

This most likely means the spacecraft crash-landed on the lunar surface, but this isn’t stopping the UAE. Just one day after the news, on April 26 His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced Rashid 2 – a new Emirati lunar mission which will be undertaken by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

Rashid rover 2 royals

During his visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, the Ruler of Dubai stressed the importance of determination in achieving success in the space industry. Sheikh Mohammed stated that although the attempt to land the Rashid Rover on the moon was unsuccessful, “we kept our aspirations high”, adding that the UAE will continue to launch new space exploration missions.

Sheikh Mohammed also highlighted that ‘Emiratis have proven their ability to develop advanced space projects and rapidly create a vibrant national space sector.’ He added, “The UAE built a space sector from scratch within just 10 years. The Rashid Rover mission was driven by the country’s ambitious vision for space exploration.”

During his visit to the space centre, he was joined by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai who also stated that the UAE will continue to develop and build an advanced space sector. He quoted Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid saying, ‘The biggest risk in life is not taking any risk’.

In December 2022, the successful launch of the Rashid Rover integrated into iSpace’s HAKUTO-R lander made the UAE the first Arab country to ascend toward the lunar surface. The Rashid Rover weighed about 10 kilograms measuring around 80 centimetres high, around 53.5 centimetres long, and close to 53.85 centimetres wide – making it the world’s most compact rover.

We can’t wait to see what the UAE does in its space venture, and we wish them the best of luck with the Rashid 2 project.

Images: Dubai Media Office