Dubai: The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced that the Rashid Rover, onboard the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander, is scheduled to land on the Moon on April 25, 2023, at 8:40 PM (UAE time).
The landing date is subject to change depending on operational conditions. The Rashid Rover is currently orbiting the Moon at an altitude of about 100 kilometres at the perilune (periapsis) and about 2,300 kilometres at the apolune. The points in the orbit that are closest to the centre of the moon are called perilune, and the farthest is known as apolune.
At around 7:40 PM on April 25, the lander carrying Rashid Rover will perform multiple orbital control manoeuvres to reach a 100-kilometre circular orbit around the Moon before initiating the landing sequence. During the landing sequence, the lander will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit. Utilising a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its altitude and reduce velocity to make a soft landing on the confirmed site of Atlas Crater in the Mare Frigoris.
The ELM team will complete close to a total of 370 minutes of communication with the world’s most compact rover before landing, along with 12 mission rehearsals for surface operations. The mission rehearsal is crucial for the engineering team to be prepared and ready with their programmes for execution post-lunar landing and also to enable the different teams on the subsystems to sync their operational work.
The next stage of navigation for the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander that holds the Rashid Rover includes the completion of all planned lunar orbital control manoeuvres before the landing sequence as well as confirmation that the lander is ready to start the landing sequence. In case of any changes in operational conditions, three alternative landing sites have also been scheduled, with the next landing opportunities set for April 26, May 1, and May 3.
The Emirates Lunar Mission is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.