The vehicle will be another regional first-the volume to land on the moon is smaller than any rover.
So far, China’s 310-pound (140 kg) Yutu rover is the lightest aircraft to land on the moon in 2013 and 2019, but the UAE’s weight is less than one-tenth of its weight. It is about 20 inches (50 cm) in length and width, 28 inches (70 cm) in height, and its payload weighs about 22 pounds (10 kg).
The Emirates lunar mission is scheduled to launch in 2024 and aims to travel to parts of the moon that have never been seen before. The exact landing location has not been revealed, but the goal is to better understand how lunar dust and rocks change on the moon.
Sara Al Maeeni, project scientist at Mohammed Bin Rashid, said: “If you think about the world and say that you have visited 1
Objects without air are space objects that lack an atmosphere, such as the moon, asteroids, and Mercury. Without an atmosphere to protect them, their surface will constantly change and be eroded by solar radiation, meteoroids and dust.
The research team hopes to examine the lunar soil carefully, record the lunar temperature, analyze how lunar dust adheres to different surfaces, and observe the effects of solar radiation.
In memory of the late former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum), the rover will be equipped with six scientific instruments, as well as communications, Power and movement system.
Al Maeeni said that keeping the overall weight of the equipment below 22 pounds is a challenge in itself, but building such a small rover poses other obstacles.
The huge challenge faced by small rover
The temperature of the moon varies greatly between day and night. According to Al, in the area to be explored by the Emirates lunar sounding mission, the temperature range during the day is expected to be minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 degrees Celsius) at night, up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius). Vehicles with a smaller Mani are more affected by external temperature changes.
Amin Weidler, a planetary exploration research scientist at the German Aerospace Center, said: “It is very difficult for small rover to survive around the clock.” “The rover may be damaged if it is cooled to ambient temperature and then heated again. Your system.”
The Rashid Wanderer is expected to operate only on one lunar calendar day (equivalent to 14 days on earth) to avoid the cold of the lunar night, so it does not need to undergo a reheating phase.
However, just like previous missions to the moon, the team will try to re-awaken the rover the next day to test whether its system can survive the low temperature. Al Maeeni said: “It can’t be fully operational, we are just looking for any response…even if it’s just beeping.”
Given the limited space for solar panels and batteries, another challenge is to generate, store and distribute enough electrical energy to keep all systems running normally. This means maximizing energy efficiency.
Al Maeeni said: “For example, the total weight of the communication system is about 400 grams and consumes only 4 to 5 watts.” “So, it is incredible to establish a signal at this remote place close to 385,000 kilometers (far) from the earth. .”
Wanderers smaller than Rashid are under development, but no one has embarked on a journey to the moon yet. The 4.5 lb (2 kg) “iris” was manufactured by students from Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania in collaboration with NASA. Hope to launch in a private lunar mission this year.
Despite many restrictions, there are advantages to building a small rover.
Make the space more smooth
Al Maeeni said: “Of course, any transport to the moon will require a lot of fuel and cost a lot.” However, small rover is “more cost-effective”.
And the smaller rover may cause less damage to the lunar surface during landing. Laura Forczyk, the owner of Astralytical, an American space consulting company, explained that due to the low gravity, severe impacts may spread lunar dust around the entire moon.
She said: “The smaller the lander, the less likely it is to suffer such damage, or once it has landed, the easier it is for dust to contain it.”
In the future, smaller rover could also make it easier for other countries to enter space.
Folchik said: “We will see more and more countries have never performed such tasks before performing these tasks.” She said: “Their budget may be more restricted, so the rover’s The number will be reduced.” But this research will still further promote the development of scientific knowledge.
But for practicality, for Al Maeeni, this is a way to prove feasible.
She said: “We accepted this challenge and proposed Rashid, which is already an achievement.”