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UAE’s Moon Mission

  • 30 Sep 2020
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024.

Key Points

  • Name: The rover would be named Rashid after Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, one of the original founding rulers of the UAE.
    • Rover is a vehicle for exploring the surface of a planet or moon.
  • Aim: The rover will explore the surface of the moon in areas that have not been explored previously by human missions such as NASA’s Apollo.
    • Participating in the moon exploration is part of the UAE’s space strategy to build new knowledge capabilities and advance the country’s scientific, technical and research environment.
  • Fourth Nation: If successful in 2024, the UAE could become the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon after the USA, the former Soviet Union and China.
    • India, Israel and Japan have tried but failed in landing a spacecraft on the moon.
      • Planned to land on the South Pole of the Moon, Chandrayaan-2 was launched by India in 2019. However, the lander Vikram hard-landed, which crushed India's dream to become the first nation to successfully touch down on the lunar surface in its maiden attempt.
      • India has planned a new moon mission named Chandrayaan-3. It is likely to be launched in early 2021. It will be a mission repeat of Chandrayaan-2 and will include a Lander and Rover similar to that of Chandrayaan-2, but will not have an orbiter.
    • Artemis is a crewed spaceflight program of NASA that has the goal of landing "the first woman and the next man" on the Moon, specifically at the lunar south pole region by 2024.

UAE’s Space Mission

  • In July 2020, the UAE launched a Mars probe named Amal (Hope) from Japan, marking the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
    • Amal is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year UAE will celebrate 50 years of its formation.
    • UAE has also set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117.
      • UAE is a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.
  • In 2019, the UAE sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station.

Source: IE

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