Rashid rover

Rashid rover may have crashed on landing

It is highly probable that the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lunar landing module carrying the United Arab Emirates-built Rashid rover crashed upon landing on the surface of the Earth’s satellite, ispace said.

The module had been in flight for 4.5 months and was due to make a successful landing on the moon on 25 April. Communication was lost while the module was 10 m above the lunar surface and approaching it at 25 km/h.

So far, only three countries have successfully landed spacecraft on the Moon: the USA, Russia and China. Israel also tried to send its vehicle to the moon, but it crashed in 2019.

The 2.3-metre-long Japanese descent vehicle carried a mini lunar rover, Rashid, and a toy robot from Japan designed to ride in lunar dust, as well as products from private clients. The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in the UAE said it was continuing to monitor the situation and hoped for the best.

The Rashid lunar rover was supposed to land near Dream Lake on the visible side of the moon. It is a four-wheeled planeswalker weighing 10 kg and powered by solar panels. The moon rover’s scientific equipment included cameras, a thermal imaging camera, a microscope and a Langmuir probe.

The Rashid rover was to collect lunar dust and soil and explore mobility on the lunar surface. The research module was capable of not only transmitting images to Earth but also carrying out on-the-spot analysis of the material obtained.

The mission would test new technologies in materials science, robotics, mobility, navigation and communications, specially designed to survive and function in the harsh lunar environment, in order to prepare future missions to Mars.

Source: Al Arabiya English

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