On September 29th, 2020 the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates said his country plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al MAKTOUM, who is also the ruler of Dubai emirate, made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.
“It will be an Emirati-made lunar rover that will land on the surface of the moon in 2024 in areas that have not been explored previously by human missions,” he wrote on Twitter.
If successful in 2024, the UAE could become the fourth nation in the World and the first Arab country to land a spacecraft on the moon after the US, the Soviet Union and China. India, Israel and Japan have tried but failed in landing a spacecraft on the moon.
Participating in the moon exploration is “part of the UAE’s space strategy” to build new knowledge capabilities and advance the country’s “scientific, technical and research environment” said Sheikh Mohammed on Tweeter.
In July, the UAE’s Amal probe was launched from Japan, marking the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
Amal is set to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years of its formation. In September that year, Amal will start transmitting Martian atmospheric data, which will be made available to the international scientific community, officials said.
“We have, with the grace of God, launched a new Emirati project to explore the moon. It will be an Emirati-made lunar explorer that will land on the surface of the moon in 2024 in areas not reached by previous human missions to explore it” wrote Sheikh Mohammed on Tweeter.
“The lunar explorer will be built 100% on the state’s land and by our Emirati engineers,” he added.
In 2019, the UAE sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station. The country has also set a goal to build a human colony on Mars by 2117.
This article was edited using the data from the Euronews.com, Tribuneindia.com, Aljazeera.com, and Timesofisrael.com.