Model of Rashid rover on display at IAC 2021 in Dubai

Abu Dhabi: The engineering model of the Rashid rover, first Arab mission to the moon, was on display at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2021) in Dubai on Thursday.

Rashid rover, a 10-kilogram robotic explorer will be launched in 2022 with the aim of landing on the lunar surface.

The rover will land on the near side of the Moon, at a site called the Lacus Somniorum, the Lake of Dreams and will study properties of lunar soil and geography.

The final prototype of the rover has been completed and is undergoing final testing. Once completed, engineers will begin assembling the final version and send it to space. The Japanese commercial space company will carry the rover on the Hakuto-R lander. The mission will take off on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The final prototype of the UAE’s Rashid lunar rover image was released on September 7, 2021. Photo: Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre

38-year-old Hamad Al Marzooqi, an Emirati engineer is leading the mission.

As project manager of the Emirates Lunar Mission, Dr Al Marzooqi believes carrying out the daunting task will encourage young Emiratis to pursue careers in space – just as the Apollo mission did for young Americans.

The 72nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the world’s largest and most prestigious global space kicks off on October 25, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The five-day event, which runs untill October 29, is being held within the Middle East for the first time. It is organised by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in partnership with the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).