Dubai: The UAE’s and the Arab world’s first journey to land on the Moon began successfully on Sunday, with the triumphant launch of Emirati-made Rashid Rover aboard a Japanese lunar lander sent to space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA.
The launch, the first of its kind carried out by a private company was carried out by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and delivered by the HAKUTO-R lander. The Rashid Rover, named after the former ruler of Dubai, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al-Maktoum was built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRC) and the Tokyo-based firm.
“Our first mission will lay the groundwork for unleashing the moon’s potential and transforming it into a robust and vibrant economic system,” iSpace’s CEO, Takeshi Hakamada, said in a statement.
If the mission is successful, the UAE will join Russia, the US and China in being the only countries so far to have achieved so-called “soft landings” on the moon. The US remains the only country to have put astronauts on the lunar surface.