Japanese lunar exploration company ispace founder, Takeshi Hakamada announced the launch date on Thursday in Tokyo
The UAE is set to launch its first Emirati mission to the Moon on November 28 at 12.46 PM GST (9.46 AM UTC), depending on weather conditions.
UAE’s Rashid Rover will be delivered by Japanese lunar exploration company ispace via its Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander. The company is also the first to carry our a commercial cargo mission to the Moon.
The mission is set for lift off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Space Launch Complex 40 launch site located at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
“Our first mission will lay the groundwork for unleashing the moon’s potential and transforming it into a robust and vibrant economic system,” ispace’s Hakamada said.
The Rashid Rover, which weighs 10 kilograms, will fly to the Moon on Mission 1 and will attempt to land on the Moon’s Atlas Crater on the south-eastern outer edge of the Mare Frigoris or Sea of Cold. The lander is expected to reach the Moon in late April.
The four-wheel rover, which was built by a small team of Emiratis at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai, will spend a lunar day – equivalent of 14 Earth days – on the Moon’s surface to study its geology and lunar dust. The rover is built to take a carousel of images of the Moon’s surroundings via high-resolution cameras.
The Emirati engineers working on the mission are currently in Florida, preparing ahead of the launch.