Recently, the UAE President and Vice-President met members of the Emirates Lunar Mission team.

Sharing photos from the visit, the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, tweeted: “This historic project is further expanding the UAE’s contribution to the space sector and enabling our people to harness their knowledge and skills to serve their country and humanity.”

In one photo, the UAE President is seen checking out the Rashid Rover that is scheduled to land on the lunar surface later this year. It will mark the Arab world’s first mission to the Moon’s surface.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also tweeted photos from his meeting with the team and confirmed that the Rashid Rover will land on the moon “in the next few months”.

“The rover will take the aspirations of our people to new heights and pave the way from the surface of the moon to a new scientific phase in the history of our country,” he tweeted.

Named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, former Ruler of Dubai, the rover is scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will blast off onboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Florida, US.

The rover’s primary landing site on the Moon is Lacus Somniorum, also known as the Lake of Dreams, an area that is yet to be explored. Located on the northeastern side of the Moon, Lacus Somniorum is characterised by its unique composition formed by flows of basalatic lava, which give it a reddish hue.

The four-wheel rover would be tasked to help the experts better understand how lunar dust and rocks vary across the Moon. It will send data and images back to Earth, using two high-resolution cameras: Microscopic, and thermal imaging ones.

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