Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid of Dubai has declared that the United Arab Emirates will make a second effort to deploy a rover on the Moon.Rashid Rover lunar ‘crash’
It came after the UAE’s Rashid rover probably crashed during an attempted lunar landing on Tuesday.
During a visit to the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), Sheikh Mohammed said Rashid 2 would be developed and sent to space, state news agency WAM reported Wednesday.Japan’s ispace said it lost contact with its Hakuto-R Mission 1 spacecraft, carrying the UAE’s Rashid rover, just moments before touchdown. The spacecraft was on a 4 1/2-month mission and was aiming to be the first privately owned business to achieve a successful moon landing.
On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed met with the team behind the UAE’s first attempt to land a rover on the lunar surface. Stressing the importance of determination in achieving success in the space industry, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE will continue to launch new space exploration missions.
He noted that though the attempt to land the Rashid Rover on the moon was unsuccessful, “we kept our aspirations high.”
“Emiratis have proved their ability to develop advanced space projects and rapidly create a vibrant national space sector,” he further said.
“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.”
Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said that any space mission has to contend with high levels of risk, which it manages in a scientific and systematic way to advance exploration and experimentation.
Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE will continue to develop its expertise and build an advanced space sector. Interacting with the MBRSC team, he said, “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid once said, ‘The biggest risk in life is not taking any risk’.
”Noting that the UAE is poised to enter a new phase of space exploration, he said, “Today, under the directives and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we announce the launch of the Rashid 2 project, a new Emirati attempt to reach the moon.”
The Rashid Rover, integrated into iSpace’s HAKUTO-R lander, successfully lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 11th December at 11:38 UAE time from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida.
The ELM marked the first Emirati lunar mission, making the UAE the first Arab country to ascend toward the lunar surface.
The world’s most compact rover, the Rashid Rover was built to traverse and explore the Moon’s surface with a unique configuration. Weighing about 10 kilograms, the Rover is around 80 centimetres high, around 53.5 centimetres long, and close to 53.85 centimetres wide.
MBRSC partnered with 10 international and four UAE-based entities for the Emirates Lunar Mission’s science program. In collaboration with close to 40 scientists and researchers, MBRSC developed the main instruments, the optical cameras, microscopic imager and Langmuir probe on board the Rashid Rover.