Watch: How UAE’s Rashid Rover will complete 385,000km journey to the Moon

The landing phase is the most challenging — but once, the Rashid Rover reaches the Moon's harsh and unpredictable surface, the mechanical arms unfold



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 29 Nov 2022, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Dec 2022, 1:14 PM

Rashid Rover's historic blast-off (on December 11) will mark the start of a 385,000km space odyssey — one that will make the UAE the fourth country to land on the Moon.

The Dubai Media Office recently tweeted a video (watch the clip above) that explained the different stages that the lander would go through to reach the lunar surface.

The Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) is all set for the launch slated for 11.38am, UAE time.

Here's a guide to what will happen next once the rover lifts off:

Blast-off

“The lander enclosed in a Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral space force station in Florida. It begins a low course trajectory to the Moon approximately 385,000 km from Earth," according to the video.

Separation

Once the primary stage falls away, the rocket continues its trajectory. And when the payload is in orbit the lander separates, and the final parts of the rocket are discarded, it added.

Entering transit orbit

"The lander is (then) injected into a transit orbit and accelerates into a series of slingshots until eventually, the Moon’s gravitational tuck pulls it into an orbital path. Now it prepares to land.

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Landing

"The landing phase is the most challenging. Once, the lander descends into the Moon’s harsh and unpredictable surface, the mechanical arms unfold.”

Rashid Rover's landing site, which will be the Atlas crater — located at 47.5°N, 44.4°E, on the southeastern outer edge of Mare Frigoris (Sea of Cold) — has been chosen to maintain its flexibility during operations. Mare Frigoris lies in the far lunar north.

Start of science mission

The Rashid Rover, once it lands, will explore the characteristics of the lunar soil, the petrography and geology of the Moon, dust movement, surface plasma conditions, and the Moon's photoelectron sheath.

“On completing the mandatory checks, the rover is ready to drive off and conduct a series of experiments finding data to enrich our understanding of the physical phenomenon of the lunar surface. The rover will work for one lunar day equivalent of two weeks on Earth,” the video explains.

The novel discovery within the unexplored lunar site is one of the many reasons why the Emirates Lunar Mission is one of the most anticipated moon missions.


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