The United Arab Emirates will launch its first moon rover in November, mission leader Hamad Al Marzouki told The National newspaper,
He said the Rashid rover, named after Dubai's ruling family, will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida sometime between Nov. 9 and 15. The rover is to be launched aboard a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket and delivered to the moon by Japan's ispace landing module in March.
The moon mission is part of the UAE's broader strategy to become a major player in space exploration. If the mission to the moon succeeds, the UAE and Japan will join the ranks of the United States, Russia and China as countries that have sent a spacecraft to the surface of the moon.
An Emirati satellite is already orbiting Mars to study the atmosphere of the red planet. The UAE partnered with Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to launch the probe, which entered Mars orbit in February 2021.