The UAE reaches for the moon

An Emirati on the moon

The Middle East is in turmoil but so too is the US, if the first debate between Trump-Biden is anything to go by. What a mess. No one wants politics as low as that.

There is no doubt that the Middle East is a mess for different reasons. It's not just politics but the level of corruption within society that is a problem for people living in the region. Not only is there the ongoing war in Syria and Yemen but there are concerns about Iran, Israel, Lebanon (whose new prime minister has just resigned) and human rights in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The list goes on.

The UAE is trying to move on from this by being a leader in the region in a number of areas, especially space travel.

UAE announces first Arab mission to the moon

By Al Monitor Staff

The United Arab Emirates seeks to become the fourth country in the world to land on the lunar surface, its leader announced today.

The United Arab Emirates announced on Tuesday (29 September, 2020) it will send a space exploration vehicle to the moon. The wealthy Gulf nation already has a probe en route to Mars and is working to boost its technological advancement.

The lunar rover will launch in 2024 and gather images and data from unexplored parts of the moon, UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a tweet on Tuesday. The rover will be the first from an Arab majority state and will be made and developed by Emirati engineers, according to the prime minister.

The UAE is a leader in the Middle East in space exploration, and its government prioritizes technology. In July, the Emirates' Mars probe Hope launched. It was the first mission to Mars by an Arab country.

The lunar rover is named Rashid after Maktoum's late father, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who was also prime minister. Rashid aims to land on the moon's surface — a feat only accomplished by the United States, the former Soviet Union and China. The rover will study the surface, thermal properties and dust particles on the moon, among other subjects, the state-run Emirates News Agency reported.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2020