future missions

UAE Space Program

For the less immediate future, the UAE has set its sights on the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the source of most meteorites that impact Earth. Scheduled for launch in 2028, the mission will study seven main belt asteroids.

The new interplanetary mission was announced as part of the UAE’s “Projects of the 50”—a series of innovative projects to accelerate the UAE into its next 50 years—and will be developed in partnership with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder.

Emirates Lunar Mission

The Emirates Lunar Mission’s Rashid Rover, named after the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, was designed and built in the UAE by a team of Emirati engineers, experts and researchers to study the Moon’s surroundings in an effort to help scientists better understand the electrically charged environment on the lunar surface.

Although later presumed lost in April 2023, Rashid Rover blasted off for the Moon in late 2022 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center atop a Falcon 9 SpaceX Rocket, in a lunar lander designed by Japanese company ispace, demonstrating the collaborative and international nature of the Artemis partnership. The UAE is now in the process of developing a second lunar rover, dubbed ‘Rashid 2,’ in a fresh attempt to land on the lunar surface.

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