DUBAI: The launch of the UAE’s moon rover has been delayed by one day for “additional pre-flight checks”, it was announced on Wednesday.
Rashid Rover, the Arab world’s first lunar mission, is now scheduled to launch at 8:37 a.m. (GMT) on Thursday, Dec.1, from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US, SpaceX said in a statement.
Standing down from launch of ispace's HAKUTO-R Mission 1 to allow for additional pre-flight checkouts; now targeting Thursday, December 1 at 3:37 a.m. ET for liftoff
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 30, 2022
The UAE’s lunar mission is the product of a partnership with SpaceX and Japan-based ispace inc., which created the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander aboard the Falcon 9 rocket.
The Emirati-made Rashid rover, weighing 10 kilograms and stored inside the Japanese lander, is due to land around April 2023 on the visible side of the Moon, in the Atlas crater after a five-month journey.
Once launched, the integrated spacecraft will take a low-energy route to the moon rather than a direct approach, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center earlier said.
If the lunar mission succeeds, the UAE will be the fourth country to land on the moon. The mission will also see the first spacecraft funded and built by a private Japanese firm to land on the moon.