Featured Image Source: iSpace
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) signed a contract with Japan’s iSpace, Inc., to deliver the ‘Rashid’ rover to the lunar surface aboard iSpace’s lander. iSpace selected SpaceX as a launch provider to propel its lunar lander to the Moon atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The mission is currently scheduled for 2022, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. / Source: SpaceX
iSpace Founder and Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Hakamada said Falcon 9 will deliver the iSpace lander to lunar orbit, where it will propel itself to land on the moon, then the UAE Rashid rover will get out of the lander and drive off to explore. “We are honored that MBRSC has entrusted iSpace’s lunar payload transportation service to play a key role in carrying out this historic moment for the UAE. The world will be watching as our commercial lander carries the ‘Rashid’ rover to the Moon,” Hakamada stated. “We’re pleased to advance collaboration between the UAE and Japan in space exploration, as well as to inspire more collaborations for lunar exploration between the public and commercial sector around the world.”
Under the agreement, iSpace will provide the Emirates Lunar Mission with power and wireless communication. Rashid will be capable of transmitting data while in transit and on the lunar terrain where it is tasked to study the soil, the petrography and geology of the Moon, plasma condition, and photoelectron sheath.
“Our association with Japan’s ispace is in line with the MBRSC’s ambitious vision of growing a vibrant and sustainable space ecosystem through collaborations and partnerships,” Adnan AlRais, Mars 2117 Programme Manager and Senior Director Remote Sensing Department, MBRSC, said in a press release. “The Emirates Lunar Mission represents a milestone in the UAE’s space sector as the mission will contribute towards providing valuable data and information relating to the Moon that will serve the global scientific community as well as test capabilities that would be crucial for manned missions to Mars.”
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.