UAE lunar mission gets Nov.9-15 launch window - GulfToday

UAE lunar mission gets Nov.9-15 launch window


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Japan-based ispace inc, a global lunar exploration company on Wednesday announced that it currently plans to launch Mission1 (M1) lunar lander which will land the Rashid Rover on the lunar surface between Nov.9-15.

The company with its headquarters in Japan and regional offices in the United States and Europe, further said that the launch is set to occur on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The lunar lander, which is part of the Hakuto-R programme, upon its deployment from the rocket, the M1 lander will then carry multiple commercial and government payloads including two rovers to the surface of the Moon.

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince took to his twitter handle to congratulate the team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

“We thank the team at MBR Space Centre for their efforts in developing the Rashid Rover, the UAE’s first mission to the Moon,” he tweeted.

“The rover has officially cleared all required tests, bringing the first Arab mission to the lunar surface one step closer. Our next stop: the Moon,” he tweeted further.

As of September 2022, the final functional testing of the flight model at the IABG mbH Space Centre in Germany has been completed. The lander is now being prepared for transport to the launch site in Florida.

After launch, M1 will be operated from the HAKUTO-R Mission Control Center (MCC) located in Tokyo’s central business district, Nihonbashi.

The MCC will monitor the lander’s attitude, temperature, and other conditions, send commands and data to the lander, and receive images and video data during transit to the Moon as well as from the lunar surface.

M1 will utilise a ground station network of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The ESAs Tracking Station Network (ESTRACK) is operated from the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

M1 will use five of the ESTRACK network’s antennas across three continents, located in Kourou (French Guiana), New Norcia (Western Australia), Cebreros (Spain), Malargüe (Argentina) and Goonhilly (UK).

“We are focused on each of our missions, but now that the launch window has been set for M1, we are ready for the challenge,” said Takeshi Hakamada, founder, representative director, and CEO of ispace.

“For me, this is a milestone on the road to realising our vision, but I am already proud of our results. I look forward to watching the launch alongside all of our employees and those who have supported us.”

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