The United Arab Emirates plans to ship an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024, a prime Emirati official stated on Tuesday, the most recent gamble within the stars by the oil-rich nation that would see it turn into solely the fourth nation on Earth to perform that objective.

The announcement by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who additionally serves because the vice chairman and prime minister of the hereditarily dominated UAE, reveals the speedy growth of the area program that bears his title.

Already, an Emirati area probe is hurtling by means of area on its method to Mars whereas final 12 months it despatched its first astronaut to the Worldwide House Station.

“It is going to be an Emirati-made lunar rover that may land on the floor of the moon in 2024 in areas that haven’t been explored beforehand by human missions,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.

He didn’t elaborate on the placement that the UAE deliberate to discover, nor how they’d launch the rover into area.

The launch of its Amal, or “Hope,” probe to Mars befell at Japan’s Tanegashima House Centre in July.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which launched that probe, stated nothing had been determined in regards to the launch of the moon rover and declined to remark when reached by The AP.

The Emirati rover will research the lunar floor, mobility on the moon’s floor and the way completely different surfaces work together with lunar particles, the federal government later stated.

The 10 kg (22-pound) rover will carry two high-resolution cameras, a microscopic digital camera, a thermal imagery digital camera, a probe and different units, it stated.

Sheikh Mohammed stated the rover can be named “Rashid”, the identical title of his late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Sheikh Rashid was one of many authentic founding rulers of the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula.

Sheikh Mohammed made the announcement on Twitter after a closed-door assembly with officers. State media pictures of the assembly confirmed him and others carrying masks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If profitable in 2024, the UAE may turn into the fourth nation on Earth to land a spacecraft on the moon, after the US, the Soviet Union and China. India tried and did not land a spacecraft final 12 months.

Israel as effectively noticed its personal small spacecraft crash into the lunar floor final 12 months earlier than landing, failing in an formidable try and make historical past as the primary privately funded lunar touchdown.

In July, the UAE’s Amal probe was launched from Japan. It stays on its method to Mars and is about to achieve the crimson planet in February 2021, the 12 months the UAE celebrates 50 years for the reason that nation’s formation. In September that 12 months, Amal will begin transmitting Martian atmospheric knowledge, which shall be made accessible to the worldwide scientific neighborhood, officers say.

A profitable mission to the moon can be a significant step for the oil-dependent economic system in search of a future in area. The UAE additionally has set the formidable objective to construct a human colony on Mars by 2117.

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