Space year 2023 for the UAE

2023 promises to be the busiest year in the history of space exploration for the United Arab Emirates, including by sending the Rashid moon rover to the surface of an Earth satellite and astronaut Sultan Al Nayyadi on a six-month mission to the ISS.

The 10-kilogram moon rover is scheduled to launch in November from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It will launch into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will be inside Japan’s Hakuto-R Mission 1 lunar landing module. The module will attempt to land on and anchor on the surface of the moon in early 2023.

If everything goes according to plan, the United Arab Emirates will become the first Arab country to conquer the Moon. The Rashid rover, designed in the United Arab Emirates, will land near the Dream Lake on the visible side of the Moon.

It is a four-wheeled glider weighing 10kg and will be solar-powered. The moon rover’s scientific equipment will include cameras, a thermal imager, a microscope and a Langmuir probe.

A team of Emirati engineers have developed the UAE’s lunar mission. They are pictured with the Rashid rover at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. Photo: MBRSC

Next spring, 41-year-old Sultan Al Neyadi will travel to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – he will stay in Earth orbit for six months. The UAE will become the 11th country in history to send its citizen on such a long-term space journey.

Sultan Al Nayyadi is one of the first two astronauts trained by the United Arab Emirates. He was a stand-in for Hazza Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut to travel to the ISS in September 2019. On board the ISS, the Emirati will conduct a series of complex and in-depth experiments, as well as a number of educational programmes.

In late 2023, the UAE hopes to launch MBZ-Sat, the region’s most powerful aerospace imaging satellite. The 800-kilogram satellite, named after the country’s president, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, will go into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
Source: The National

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