Arabs aim for the moon

UAE to the moon, lunar mission Arab world

The United Arab Emirates has launched a moon mission. With notions of colonizing Mars on the horizon, it’s high time for space explorers to get their space legs on the moon. That’s the sentiment in the latest space race, with the UAE launching its lunar mission this month, Dec 11. 

The UAE launched the Emirati-made Rashid Rover on a Japanese lunar lander, which was sent to space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA. Aiming for the moon is a collaborative mission and all global-scale projects should operate this way. 

This makes the UAE the first Arab country to launch a mission to the Moon. Israel, nearby and a friend to the UAE, will launch a “moonian” probe in 2025 to see if plants can grow on the moon. 

Meanwhile the UAE has plans to live on Mars in 100 years. Some entrepreneurs are also calling for much-earlier moon colonisation. Makes sense as it’s closer to home. But a sustainable idea when the earth is on fire? 

About the Rashid Rover

The UAE lunar lander carrying its Rashid Rover will take a five-month 250,000 mile journey to the surface of the Moon.

“We are launching the first-ever Arab mission to the moon by 2024. The lunar rover will send back images & data from new sites of the moon that haven’t been explored by previous lunar missions. The gathered data will be shared with global research centers & institutions,” tweeted the ruler of Dubai and vice president of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The four-wheel rover weighs 10kg and was was built at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai. It will spend one lunar day (which is 14 Earth days!) on the Moon.

The launch comes just shortly after that of NASA’s Artemis I lunar mission.

Why are Arabs going to the moon?


 Arabs also want a shot of living on Mars

The expedition is a science mission to study lunar soil, the petrography and geology of the Moon, along with dust movement, surface plasma, and the mon’s photoelectron sheath. The team isn’t sure, but sure hopes the rover can survive the lunar night when temperatures plunge to -297.4°F (-183°C).

The UAE is already planning its next mission, along with China. And China is one of the reasons that the US is going back to the moon after 50 years. With the Arab world growing close to China in many markets, electric cars are one of them, the US will want to sway the needle over to their direction. Politics is pushing us to the moon as China plans on sending astronauts to the moon in another 8 years.

Nature writes: The rise of powerful private companies such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, has brought new public enthusiasm for space exploration, as well as new ways of delivering it. NASA has contracted SpaceX to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface using the enormous Starship, with which Musk dreams of colonizing Mars.

The money is there. The interest is there. The politics are pushing.

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