Rashid Rover

Rashid Rover scheduled for launch on 28 November

The ambitious Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is scheduled to launch no earlier than November 28, at 3.46am US Eastern Standard Time/12.46pm UAE time.

The stated dates and times are subject to change depending on weather and other conditions.

The announcement followed confirmation of the Rashid rover’s landing site, Atlas Crater, located at 47.5°N, 44.4°E, on the southeast outer edge of Mare Frigoris (Sea of Cold), chosen to remain flexible during operations. Mare Frigoris is located at the extreme lunar north.

The main landing site was chosen along with several alternatives that could be used depending on the variables encountered during transit. The location meets the technical requirements of the landing technology demonstration mission and the scientific reconnaissance objectives of the ELM mission. After landing, the Rashid rover will study lunar soil characteristics, lunar petrography and geology, dust motion, surface plasma conditions and the lunar photonic envelope.

New discoveries in an unexplored region of the Moon are one of the many reasons why the Emirates lunar mission is one of the most anticipated lunar missions.

In collaboration with partners SpaceX and ispace, MBRSC said the integrated launch vehicle is at Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, and will be moved to the launch pad closer to the launch date.

According to ispace, the integrated spacecraft will travel to the Moon via a low-energy route rather than a direct route, which means the landing will take place about five months after launch, in March 2023.

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