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UAE announces first Arab mission to the moon

Follows the Mars mission

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The United Arab Emirates said it will send a space exploration vehicle to the moon. The UAE already has a probe on its way to Mars.

The lunar rover will launch in 2024 and gather images and data from unexplored parts of the moon, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a tweet.

The rover will be the first from an Arab state and will be made and developed by Emirati engineers.

The UAE is a leader in the Middle East in space exploration, and its government prioritizes technology. In July 2020, it launched the Mars probe Amal (Hope). It was the first mission to Mars by an Arab country.

The lunar rover is named Rashid after Sheikh Mohammed's late father, Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. 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.