Watch live: UAE's Rashid rover Moon mission launch

The Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander will deliver the Rashid rover to the Moon with a landing expected at the end of April

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The UAE's Rashid lunar rover launched on Sunday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Japanese company ispace built the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, which will deliver the Rashid rover to the Moon, with a landing expected at the end of April.

A Falcon 9 rocket will also launch Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi early next year from the Kennedy Space Centre.

And MBZ-Sat, expected to be the region’s most powerful imaging satellite, will also launch on a Falcon 9 late next year.

With several Emirati missions coming up, The National explains best spots to watch launches at the Space Coast, or online.

Jetty Park Rocket Launch View Point

One of the most popular spots to watch a rocket launch is from the Jetty Park beach and fishing pier.

The site in Cape Canaveral has a beach, campground and a fishing pier, and plenty of bathrooms.

The park is only 17 kilometres from Launch Complex 40 ― the pad where the UAE’s Moon mission will lift off.

Launch Complex 39A ― where Dr Al Neyadi will probably take off from ― is about 22 kilometres away.

The clear views of the launch sites makes this location a popular spot with photographers and film crews.

A day pass to enter the park costs $16 (Dh58.77) per vehicle.

Cocoa Beach, south of Cape Canaveral, is also a popular viewing spot.

Alan Shepard Park

Named after the first American astronaut, the Alan Shepard Park is south of the launch pads.

It is an oceanfront park with more than 300 parking spaces, picnic areas, playgrounds, showers and bathrooms.

Ways to watch the UAE's Rashid lunar rover launch

Ways to watch the UAE's Rashid lunar rover launch

The area is popular with tourists and has many retail shops within walking distance.

The parking fee for Shepard Park is $2.50 (Dh9) an hour or $15 (Dh55) a day.

Watch while on a boat

If you want unobstructed views of a launch and want to avoid crowds, there are boat tours available specifically to view rocket launches.

Prices could range from $50 (Dh183) to $100 (Dh367) per person, depending on which company you choose and how popular the upcoming launch is.

Barry Pendley captains boats for the Banana Boat River Tours, which offer rocket launch viewing.

“We can load six people at a time and we run two boats,” he said.

“It seems that the manned missions draw a lot more people or the Moon missions.”

Boats are not allowed to enter the restricted areas.

While on a helicopter

An ultimate way to watch a rocket launch is from a helicopter.

There are companies on the Space Coast that offer the service, and fly just outside the restricted airspace.

Choppers can take you as high as 1,129 metres, allowing you to see the rocket blast off from above.

Beachside Helicopters is one company that offers this experience.

They charge $250 (Dh918) per person, which includes a viewing of the launch, flight along the cruise ships of Port Canaveral and a tour of Cocoa Beach.

If the launch includes a rocket re-entry, the chopper will hold in place until the booster rockets return and make their landing back at the Kennedy space complex.

Live stream by SpaceX

If you prefer to watch online, SpaceX usually always offers a free live stream of the launch, unless the mission has a military client that has requested that the launch not be broadcast.

It is live streamed on SpaceX’s social media channels and its official website.

Updated: December 12, 2022, 7:09 AM