UAE's Rashid rover launch postponed for second day

SpaceX expected to set new launch date soon

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Officials are hopeful of sending the UAE's Rashid rover into space in the coming days after a second scheduled blast-off from Florida was cancelled early on Thursday.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, with the UAE's Rashid rover inside it, was due to blast off at 12.37pm UAE time.

“After further inspections of the launch vehicle and data review, we're standing down from tomorrow's launch of @ispace_inc's HAKUTO-R Mission 1; a new target launch date will be shared once confirmed,” SpaceX wrote on Twitter.

Officials are hopeful of a new launch date in the coming days. An earlier launch on Wednesday was postponed.

Speaking earlier this week, Salem Al Marri, director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, said the launch will be a “big moment” for the nation.

“It’s our smallest mission so far in terms of size, but with a huge impact … I think it impacts all segments of society,” he said of the Emirates, which sent an astronaut to the International Space Station in 2019 and the Hope probe to Mars last year.

Details about the next launch attempt are expected soon.

Updated: December 12, 2022, 7:00 AM