United Arab Emirates Launching Spacecraft, Rover to Moon by 2024, PM Tweets

The United Arab Emirates' first moon rover should reach its destination during or before 2024.
Brad Bergan
The photo credit line may appear like thisHH Sheikh Mohammed / Twitter

The United Arab Emirates debuted a new project on Tuesday to send unmanned spacecraft to the moon during or before 2024, according to a statement from the ruler of Dubai, in a tweet.


United Arab Emirates unveils plans for going to the moon

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — the ruler of Dubai emirate — announced the new project on Twitter.

"We are launching the first-ever Arab mission to the moon by 2024. The lunar rover will send back images and data from new sites of the moon that haven't been explored by previous lunar missions," wrote Sheik Mohammed, in a tweet. "The gathered data will be shared with global research centers [and] institutions."

If the UAE's forthcoming lunar missions are successful, it would make the fourth nation in the world to land a craft on the moon — naturally following the United States, the Soviet Union, and China.

Solely Emirati mission to the moon

Sheikh Mohammed also said the nation's probe would be "100% manufactured and developed in the UAE by Emirati engineers."

"The UAE will be the fourth country in the world to send a mission to explore the moon," added Sheikh Mohammed, in a tweet. "We will continue our contribution to the global pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of humanity."

Arab nation plans to land rover on moon

The rover will be named Rasid after Sheikh Mohammed's late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. In the past, Japan, Israel, and India have made failed attempts to land a spacecraft on the moon.

This latest UAE announcement comes on the heels of a Mars probe launched from UAE earlier this year. In July, UAE's Amal (Hope) probe lifted off from Japan — and represents the Arab world's first interplanetary space mission, reports Al Jazeera.

Arab world's first Mars probe in transit

Amal is slated for Mars arrival in Feb. 2021, on the 50-year anniversary of the oil-laden Gulf state's formation. Once there, Amal will transmit Martian atmospheric data, which will be released to the wider international scientific community, according to officials.

In 2019, the first UAE astronaut made their way to the International Space Station. The Arab nation also plans to build a human colony on Mars in 2117, Al Jazeera reports.

While many consider SpaceX, NASA, the ESA, JAXA (Japan), and Russia's space programs as the only ones worth noting, it seems the United Arab Emirates may soon join the world's leaders as a serious contender for the future of human exploration of the moon, and what lies beyond.


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