Sheikh Hamdan visits Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

Dubai Crown Prince reviews developments on Moon mission rover

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Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on Sunday visited the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre where he was shown the designs for the UAE's first moon rover.

Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE was strengthening its global standing by launching exceptional space projects to create a brighter future for the region and its people.

He reviewed the centre's 10-year strategy and was briefed on the progress of the Emirates Lunar Mission project, the first Emirati and Arab mission to explore the Moon.

Emirati engineers plan to develop and launch the rover, named Rashid, in 2024.

It will make the UAE the fourth country to gain new information about the Moon and explore new areas on the lunar surface.

"The explorer Rashid is the first Arab spacecraft to be launched to the Moon in 2024 to discover sites that no space flights have previously reached," Sheikh Hamdan said.

"The Emirates Moon Exploration Project is a new achievement in our scientific journey, which we achieve with Emirati minds and efforts, and its results will be in the service of humanity."

The team gave Sheikh Hamdan an overview of previous missions conducted in the lead-up to the current phase of the Moon project.

They demonstrated how the Emirati lunar rover will perform key tasks when it lands on the surface of the Moon.

Hamad Al Mansouri, chairman of the centre, said these space projects would help to show the UAE as a valuable global partner for innovative scientific projects.

"[Sheikh Hamdan's visit] serves as a strong incentive and motivation for the centre and private entities in the UAE to launch new, high-quality projects in the fields of technology, robotics and aerospace technology," Mr Al Mansouri said.

The lunar rover will make significant contributions to global efforts to explore the Moon's surface.

It will provide data to Nasa's Lunar Gateway project, which will see the establishment of a human base on the Moon to make deep space missions possible, particularly sending astronauts to Mars.

It is also a step towards the UAE's Mars ambitions, with the the Mars 2117 Programme, which aims to build the first human settlement on the Red Planet.