Wednesday 21 October 2020

Sheikh Mohammed launches Emirates Lunar Mission

DUBAI, 21 days ago

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the launch of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the moon. 
The mission supports the UAE’s efforts to enhance the region’s space industry and contribute to its future built by innovative Emirati minds, said a Wam news agency report.
The Emirates Lunar Mission is part of the new 2021-2031 strategy launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), which includes the development and launch of the first Emirati lunar rover named "Rashid", after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, builder of modern Dubai.
The explorer will be designed and built in the UAE by 100 percent Emirati team of engineers, experts, and researchers. If successful, the UAE will become the first Arab country and the fourth country in the world to land on the lunar surface after the United States, Soviet Union, and China. MBRSC will partner with an international entity to assist in landing the Rashid Lunar Rover on the Moon.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "By exploring the Moon, we are drafting a new inspiring chapter in the UAE’s growing list of achievements in space and beyond."
"We chose to name the Lunar Rover 'Rashid', after the builder of the modern renaissance of Dubai and one of the founders of the UAE. This project is the largest national and humanitarian project in the region."
"We have a large-scale space programme combined with an unwavering will, strategic governance and an ambitious cadre of scientists, researchers and engineers. The future awaiting us is full of achievements and innovations. What lies ahead is even more promising," he added.
Scientific objectives
The mission aims to conduct tests to study various aspects of the lunar surface, including the lunar soil and its formation and components, thermal properties of the surface including thermal amplitude and conduction characteristics. It will carry out a series of measurements and tests that will expand human understanding of the Moon-plasma, photoelectrons and dust particles located over the illuminated part of the lunar surface. A range of materials will also be tested and their interaction with the Moon will be studied.
During its mission period, the Lunar Rover will capture multiple images and relay it back to the control room in Dubai. The Emirates Lunar Mission will also test new technologies in material science, robotics, mobility, navigation, and communications, specially designed to survive and function in the harsh lunar environment.
Ideal platform
The Emirati lunar rover will land on an area of the Moon’s surface that has not been explored by any of the previous lunar exploration missions. Therefore, it will provide novel and highly valued data, images, and insights. During its mission, the lunar rover will collect scientific data on matters relating the origin of the solar system, our planet and life.
Technical specifications
The Lunar Rover will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies including a 3D camera, advanced motion system, sensors, communication system and be powered using solar panels.
It will include four cameras that move vertically and horizontally, including two main cameras, a microscope camera, and a thermal imaging camera. Additionally, it will be equipped with sensors and systems to analyse the properties of soil, dust, radioactivity, electrical activities, and rocks on the surface of the Moon. The explorer will also include an advanced motion system to enhance the efficiency of the Lunar Rover’s wheels' movement on the Moon and facilitate the process to overcome natural barriers, along with a robust structure to protect devices and machinery from changing temperatures.
A team of Emirati engineers, researchers and experts at MBRSC is working towards completing the design of the Lunar Rover by 2021. The rover is set to be manufactured in 2022, while preliminary experiments and tests of the prototype are expected to start in 2023. The Centre aims to launch the Lunar Rover by 2024, setting another record in its growing list of achievements in the space sector. 


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