Arab world's first Moon mission delayed by a day

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The United Arab Emirates’ Rashid Rover – the Arab world's first mission to the Moon – has been postponed by a day, it was announced Wednesday.

It was scheduled to take place on Wednesday at 12:39pm GST with the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the UAE's Rashid rover. It has now been pushed back until Thursday, December 1.

SpaceX tweeted that the postponement was “to allow for additional pre-flight checkouts.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the launch has appeared to be on schedule, with the UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) tweeting that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the UAE's Rashid rover was vertical at the Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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At about 8:40am, the space center confirmed a new launch date has now been set for the Emirates Lunar Mission on December 1 at 12:37 PM (UAE time).

Residents across the UAE will be able to watch the launch online which will be streamed live by SpaceX. It marks the UAE’s first Moon mission, with more rovers to be developed in the future.

The United Arab Emirate’s Rashid Rover, the first Emirati mission to the moon surface, has been integrated onto a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the historic launch on Wednesday. (Twitter)
The United Arab Emirate’s Rashid Rover, the first Emirati mission to the moon surface, has been integrated onto a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the historic launch on Wednesday. (Twitter)

The Emirati-built four-wheel rover will be stored inside Japanese lunar exploration company ispace’s Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander, which will transport the vessel to the Moon's surface.

The vehicle will spend one lunar day on the Moon's surface. As part of the Emirates Lunar Mission, the 10-kilogram robotic explorer will send back images and collect data on lunar soil and dust once it reaches the lunar surface.

Read more:

UAE’s historic Moon mission ready for launch

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