The Borneo Post (Sabah)

UAE to send rover to the Moon in 2022

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DUBAI: Lunar exploratio­n firm iSpace said Wednesday it will transport a United Arab Emirates unmanned rover to the Moon next year, as the Gulf state seeks to expand its space sector.

The UAE — made up of seven emirates including the capital Abu Dhabi and freewheeli­ng Dubai — announced in September 2020 that it planned to launch the “Rashid” rover by 2024.

The rover “will be transporte­d to the Moon on iSpace’s lunar lander” during a mission in 2022, the Japanese company said in a statement.

iSpace “will deliver the Emirates lunar mission’s ‘Rashid’ rover to the Moon, provide wired communicat­ion and power during the cruise phase, and engage in wireless communicat­ion on the lunar surface”.

The UAE is a newcomer to the world of space exploratio­n but is quickly making its mark.

In September 2019, the oil-rich country sent the first Emirati into space as part of a three-member crew that blasted off on a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan for an eight-day mission.

Then in February, its “Hope” probe successful­ly entered Mars’ orbit on a journey to reveal the secrets of Martian weather, making history as the Arab world’s first interplane­tary mission.

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