Emirates aim for the moon by 2024

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The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced the launch by 2024 of a rover on the moon, the country seeking to develop its space sector.

The federation, made up of seven oil-rich emirates, has embarked on space exploration in recent years.

In September 2019, Hazza al-Mansouri was the first Emirati to be sent into space, aboard a Soyuz rocket, and the first Arab citizen to stay on the International Space Station (ISS).

And last July, the Emirates launched the first Arab space mission, dubbed “Hope”, to Mars.

This Gulf country is now aiming for the moon, according to the UAE vice-president and emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed ben Rachid al-Maktoum.

“We have launched an Emirati project to explore the moon,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “It will be an Emirati-made lunar rover that will land on the surface of the Moon by 2024.”

Sheikh Mohammed also indicated that the rover – named “Rachid” in homage to his father, reputed to have modernized Dubai – will cover “places which have not yet been reached during previous exploration missions”.

This project is unprecedented for the Emirates and will be the first trip to the Moon undertaken by an Arab country.

According to Sheikh Mohammed, this mission is part of the country’s space strategy to develop new scientific capacities.

The Dubai Media Office said the launch of the 10kg rover was also part of efforts to build a first colony on Mars in 2117, one of the Emirates’ most ambitious projects.

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