'UAE will not stop': Sheikh Mohammed announces new Moon-landing attempt with Rashid Rover 2

Work on a new lunar explorer begins today, Dubai Ruler says, a day after likely crash of Hakuto-R Mission 1 spacecraft carrying Rashid Rover

By Sahim Salim

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Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

Published: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Apr 2023, 10:23 PM

The UAE will start working on a new lunar rover as it announced its next attempt to land on the Moon. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the rover would be called Rashid 2.

The announcement came a day after the Hakuto-R Mission 1 spacecraft carrying the Rashid Rover likely crashed on the lunar surface.

On Wednesday, the Dubai Ruler visited the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), where the rover was built by an all-Emirati team. He has directed the team to immediately start implementing the Rashid 2 project, a new attempt to land a rover on the Moon.

Sheikh Mohammed said Rashid 1 is on the surface of the Moon “carrying the flag of the Emirates”. Both rovers are named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, builder of modern Dubai.

“The mission of the spacecraft carrying the Rashid Rover did not succeed in landing on the Moon. However, we succeeded in raising the ceiling of our ambitions to reach the Moon,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted. “We succeeded in creating a team of young men and women capable of managing advanced space projects. We succeeded in building a space sector from scratch within 10 years.”

He said the UAE is a country founded on ambition. “We are a country that has not stopped since December 2, 1971. It will not stop. It will not turn around. It will not set small goals for itself. The next is more beautiful, greater and more daring,” he vowed.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was with Sheikh Mohammed during the visit.

Quoting Sheikh Mohammed, he said: “’The biggest risk is not to take any risk’. Risk is an integral part of any space mission, but that has never deterred us from exploring new frontiers of space. Our ambition knows no bounds, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to undertake groundbreaking missions that will establish the UAE as a leading spacefaring nation.”

The Japanese spacecraft carrying Rashid 1 was mere moments away from landing when the ground control team in Tokyo lost communication with it. Ispace announced later that there is a high probability that the spacecraft eventually made a hard landing on the Moon's surface.


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