Home / News / World /  SpaceX launches private mission to moon with Japanese lander, UAE's rover

On Sunday, SpaceX launched a private mission to the moon with a Japanese lander and United Arab Emirates rover. A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Its dimensions are just over 2 by 2.5 metres, and it is equipped with a UAE-built Rashid rover weighing 10 kilogrammes. Although it is a relative newcomer to the space race, the oil-rich nation has had recent successes, including a Mars probe in 2020. Rashid will be the first Moon mission for the Arab world if it is successful.

Japanese lander, HAKUTO was one of five finalists in the international Google Lunar XPrize competition, a challenge to land a rover on the Moon before a 2018 deadline.

The US space agency NASA wants to develop the lunar economy in the coming years by building a space station in orbit around the Moon and a base on the surface.

It has awarded contracts to several companies to develop landers to transport scientific experiments to the surface.

Among them, the American companies Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines should take off in 2023, and could arrive at their destination before ispace by taking a more direct route, according to reports.

(With inputs from agencies)

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