First look: incredible images of the final prototype of the UAE’s Rashid lunar rover

The Arab world’s first lunar mission is scheduled for lift-off next year

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New images of the final prototype of the UAE’s Rashid lunar rover have been released, showing the remarkable progress being made on the mission set to launch next year.

The prototype is undergoing final testing in France and, if successfully completed, the actual rover would be built as an exact replica of it.

Emirati engineers with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre are receiving help from the French space agency to perform the tests on the 10-kilogram robotic rover.

“Emirates Lunar Mission’s team conducted the thermal vacuum test on the engineering qualification model of the Rashid rover in collaboration with the French space agency CNES. During this phase, all subsystems in the rover were tested in different extreme temperature cases,” the space centre tweeted on Tuesday.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is another daring space mission by the UAE and follows a string of achievements in the sector, including a successful arrival to Mars with its Hope probe in February and sending an Emirati astronaut into space in 2019.

Rashid, which will study properties of lunar soil and geography, would be carried to space aboard a Japanese lander, Hakuto-R.

The mission will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida during a launch window from August to December.

Updated: February 01, 2022, 2:52 PM