UAE’s Rashid Rover to land on Moon on 25 April

RNS: UAE’s Rashid rover will attempt to land on the Moon’s surface on 25 April at 8.40 pm UAE time, announced Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE.

Rashid rover is being transported to the moon by the Japanese spacecraft— Hakuto-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander.

Ispace, the company that has built the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, reportedly made the announcement on Wednesday regarding the goal date, with backup dates of the 26th of April, the 1st of May, and the 3rd of May.

Since it was launched on December 11, the lander has travelled millions of kilometres while carrying the United Arab Emirates’ first lunar rover as well as technologies from other countries that have been safely preserved inside it. On March 21, the spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit, and since then, it has been steadily approaching the moon’s surface, as reported.

The landing date is subject to vary based on operational conditions. The Rashid Rover is now orbiting the Moon at an altitude of around 100 kilometres at the perilune and approximately 2,300 kilometres at the apolune. The places in the orbit closest to the centre of the moon are known as perilune, while the farthest is known as apolune.

On 25 April, around 7:40 PM, the lander carrying the Rashid Rover will conduct various orbital control manoeuvres to achieve a 100 km circular orbit around the Moon before beginning the landing procedure.

The lander will undertake a braking burn during the landing phase, activating its primary propulsion system to decelerate from orbit. The lander will adjust its height and velocity using a sequence of pre-programmed procedures to accomplish a soft touchdown on the confirmed site of Atlas Crater in the Mare Frigoris.

Before landing, the Emirates Lunar Mission crew will conduct about 370 minutes of contact with the world’s smallest rover, as well as 12 mission rehearsals for surface operations. The mission rehearsal is critical for the engineering team to be prepared and ready with their programmes for execution following the lunar landing, as well as for the various subsystem teams to sync their operational activities.

The next stage of navigation for the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander, which holds the Rashid Rover, includes completing all scheduled lunar orbital control manoeuvres prior to the landing sequence and confirming that the lander is ready to begin the landing sequence. In the event that operational conditions change, three alternate landing locations have been designated, with the next landing opportunities set for April 26th, 1st, and 3rd.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is supported by the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority’s (TDRA) ICT Fund, which aims to assist research and development in the UAE’s ICT sector.

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