An MBRSC team is already at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the Rashid Rover launch.
The MBRSC announced last week that the launch date was November 28, but “is subject to change, depending on weather and other conditions at the launch site.”
The MBRSC has also confirmed the Atlas crater, located at 47.5°N, 44.4°E on the outer southeast rim of the moon’s Mare Frigoris (“Sea of Cold”), as the rover’s landing site. .
Once launched, the Hakuto-R M1 integrated spacecraft that will carry Rashid Rover and other payloads to the moon will take a low-energy route to the moon rather than a direct approach, meaning landing will take approximately five months after launch, in April 2023.
Dr. Hamad Al Marzooqi, Project Manager of the Emirates Lunar Mission at MBRSC, earlier explained to Gulf News the rationale for the fuel-efficient but lengthy route. He said: “The main factor is the cost of the mission. The cost comes from the volume and mass of the spacecraft. To reach the moon in six days, which is the shortest route, you would need to burn a lot of fuel, which means you need a big tank and a big propulsion system to do it.
“But it will have a huge cost impact, so in order to reduce the cost of the mission, ispace (our partner) has selected its approach that it can reach the lunar surface in five months, but it will be less expensive because it will consume much less fuel.They will use a smaller tank and propulsion system, so the launch cost and development cost of the developing system will be lower.
Dimitra Atri, an astrophysicist at New York University Abu Dhabi, added: “In order to keep payload delivery prices attractive to customers, private companies are reducing their expenses by choosing the least expensive option, which consumes less energy but takes much longer.”