The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is close to becoming the first Muslim country to reach the surface of the moon.
The UAE’s lunar rover Rashid was launched from the launch center in the US state of Florida by a SpaceX rocket.
The rocket carries a rover as well as a lander from a Japanese company, iSpace, which will collect dust from the moon’s surface and sell it to the US space agency NASA.
Thus, this will be the first time that the Moon will be used for business activities.
35 minutes after launch, the iSpace lander separated from the rocket carrying the UAE rover.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed back on Earth after the lander separated.
The UAE has successfully sent missions to Mars before, but for the first time it wants to land a rover on the lunar surface.
The rover weighs 10 kg and if it successfully lands on the moon’s surface, it will be the first time a mission from a Muslim country will succeed in landing there.
The rover is equipped with 2 high-resolution cameras, microscopic cameras, thermal image cameras and other devices and will conduct research on the lunar surface.
Well, the launch has been successful, but landing on the moon is not easy because more than one-third of such missions fail.
So far, only missions from the US, China and Russia have managed to land on the moon, but Japan and the UAE are also expected to join the list.
In recent years, Indian and Israeli missions to the moon have met with failure.
The lander and rover will reach the lunar surface in 5 months.
Since there is no climate on the moon, the landers have to follow a complicated procedure to land.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said in a tweet that the Rashid rover is part of the UAE’s space program, which began with the mission to reach Mars.