The Emirati moon rover passes the final tests before heading to outer space

The United Arab Emirates’ Rashid rover – which will be sent to unexplored regions of the moon – has passed all tests, taking the mission one step further towards its launch into outer space.

As part of the UAE’s moon mission, the 10-kilo robotic explorer – built in the UAE by Emirati engineers working with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) – will send images and collect data on lunar soil and dust at once. Reach the red planet.

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The mission is expected to be launched from a spaceport in Cape Canaveral, Florida, next month aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

“Congratulations to the ELM team that worked tirelessly to prepare the Rashid Rover for launch,” said Salem Al Marri, Director General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center. “The lunar mission will design a new scientific reality for the Emiratis and pave the way for more space exploration missions by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.”

“This mission also embodies the nation’s spirit of innovation and scientific advancement, while also contributing to global space science research and exploration.”

Over the past four months, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported that the rover has been subjected to a series of strict internal and external reviews.

The reviews are designed to test each of the rover’s many systems and subsystems during the launch phase, the cruise phase, and the landing phase.

At the beginning of the year, the ELM rover completed assembly and the first set of fully functional tests of the flight model at the MBRSC laboratories. This testing phase included evaluations of all hardware and software functions under all possible scenarios on the (lunar) surface.

This phase also included severe vibration testing of the model in the laboratories of EDGE’s Center of Excellence for Electro-Optics (EOCE) based in Abu Dhabi.

In the second stage, the Rosetta rover completed a series of environmental tests in Toulouse, France.

This included two parts of the evaluation: The first was the final thermal and vacuum tests inside the Airbus facility, where the rover was heated and cooled to simulate the pressures and temperatures during its journey through space and on the lunar surface.

The second and final section of environmental testing included rigorous vibration and shock checks of the flight model in CNES laboratories.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center's Rashid rover, the first Emirati mission to the moon's surface, has officially passed all the required tests, and pushed the mission a step closer to the launch and take-off platform.  (supplied)

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center’s Rashid rover, the first Emirati mission to the moon’s surface, has officially passed all the required tests, and pushed the mission a step closer to the launch and take-off platform. (supplied)

For this purpose, the rover was vibrated on a vibration table that simulated the environment that the probe would encounter during launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, in addition to being subjected to the same shocks that would slow down in the lunar atmosphere, and the intense effect of propagation. and landing.

The testing campaign in Germany has concluded with the final stage of interface checks with the ispace probe that will safely transport the craft to the lunar surface. This stage also included hardware alignment checks, such as imaging systems, and a final functional test of the integrated system after the environmental campaign.

Dr. Hamad Al Marzouqi, Project Manager of the Emirates Lunar Mission, added: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center cannot wait to see the Rashid rover begin its long-awaited journey to the moon. We are now ready and prepared for the next step, which is the launch vehicle integration process, which is the final stage of our pre-launch lunar mission.”

“The science and technology for this mission will help us address key questions about geology and lunar surface science that we’ve been working on for years, and we’re excited to share our journey with the world.”

The Rashid Rover is now ready for final integration with the launch vehicle ahead of its November 9-15 launch window, 2022.

The primary objective of the mission is to study lunar plasma and provide answers about lunar dust, lunar surface, lunar surface navigation, and how different surfaces interact with lunar particles.

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