Youngest man to walk on Moon meets UAE's first astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri

Charles Duke, who was 36 when he set foot on the Moon, enjoyed a visit to Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

The youngest person to walk on the moon has shared stories of life in space with the UAE's own history-maker, Hazza Al Mansouri.

Charles Duke, who set foot on the lunar surface at the age of 36 as pilot of Apollo 16 in 1972, met Maj Al Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut, during a visit to Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre on Thursday.

The American astronaut, now 86, was the tenth person to walk on the Moon and had previously served as a fighter pilot.

The intrepid space traveller also met Salem Al Marri, deputy director general at the centre, and other Emirati astronauts and officials.

Maj Al Mansouri etched his name in the record books when he spent eight days on board the International Space Station from September 25, 2019.

Mr Duke discussed Moon missions and future lunar exploration, of which the UAE will play a key role.

The UAE's blossoming space programme will take another stride forward when it launches the Arab world’s first lunar rover, Rashid.

The craft will land on the north-eastern part of the Moon's near side, on a site known as the Lacus Somniorum.

The Latin phrase translates to "Lake of Dreams" and is the primary landing site for the UAE’s lunar mission in 2022. Three other spots have been selected as alternatives, as a precautionary measure.

Engineers at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre are building the 10-kilogram rover.

The first prototype of the lunar vehicle is complete and it will now undergo rigorous testing.

UAE's Moon mission

Updated: November 11th 2021, 5:52 PM