TOKYO – Japanese startup IceSpace plans to launch the United Arab Emirates rover to the moon next year, heating up the resources of the celestial body.
The rover, which is being developed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in the United Arab Emirates, will be carried to the moon in an icepace lander. It is expected to carry out scientific research on the surface of the moon.
This work is part of the ongoing space development cooperation between Japan and the United Arab Emirates. In July, the UAE Mars Mars rover was launched on the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket. In 2018, MHI also launched the United Arab Emirates’ Khalifasat Earth observation satellite.
The 240 kg lander of the iSpace is 2.3 meters high and 2.6 meters wide. Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX will launch it on the Falcon 9 rocket. Once the icepace lander is placed in Earth’s orbit, it will travel on its own to the moon and land on the rover.
The lander will use solar panels for power, which will also allow the rover to communicate with the earth. It will also carry a solid-state battery made by NGK Spark Plug, which wants to explore the lunar performance of its battery.
Founded in 2010, the Tokyo-based iSpace seeks to provide lunar resource development and lunar resource development; It wants to be one of the first private companies to reach the moon.
ISpace has raised $ 130 million from the private sector to fund its lunar missions – the first voyage and second voyage next year, and in 2023 the company will take its own rover to the moon.
For the 2022 mission, the iSpace lander will be designed, which will be manufactured with components from manufacturers such as Arianegroup. The German company will provide the main impetus system. The lander will be assembled in Germany and delivered to Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Lunar competition heats up.
In 2019, China landed Chang 4, the farthest from the moon, the first of its kind for any country. Last year, China’s Chang 5 explorer undertook a model return mission to the moon.
This year’s U.S. business missions are planned as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Pilot Services program aimed at business research and resource development.
The state-backed Japanese space agency wants to demonstrate its precise landing technology by sending a so-called Smart Lander to probe the moon on a mission next year.