Look: UAE's Moon rover tested in extreme temperatures
Published on September 7, 2021 at 13.45
Rashid Rover undergoes critical test just over a year before it jets off to the Moon
A critical test has been completed on the UAE’s rover that will jet off to the Moon at the end of 2022. The Emirates Lunar Mission team has completed the thermal vaccum test for the Rashid rover at CNES in Toulouse, France. During this phase, all subsystems in the rover were tested in varied extreme temperatures. (Photos: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre / Twitter)
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) had recently announced its partnership with the French space agency to develop the two optical cameras on board the Rashid rover along with the detector for the microscope imager instrument (CAM-M). The Centre also stated that more partnerships will be announced in due course and will be added to the Emirates Lunar Mission’s science programme.
The lunar mission is one of the initiatives under the Mars 2117 Programme, which aims to build a human colony on Mars. Named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai, the rover is slated for launch onboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, US.
The MBRSC had recently revealed the rover’s primary landing site on the Moon. The first Arab mission to the moon would land at Lacus Somniorum, also known as the Lake of Dreams - an area that is yet to be explored. Located on the northeastern side of the Moon, Lacus Somniorum is characterised by its unique composition formed by flows of basalatic lava, which give it a reddish hue.
The team also recently completed the assembly and integration of the first prototype of the rover.Weighing only 10kg and with just four wheels, the small rover would be tasked to help the experts better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary across the Moon. It will send data and images back to Earth, using two high-resolution cameras: Microscopic, and thermal imaging ones.