UAE will fly its Rashid 2 rover on China’s 2026 Chang’e-7

By Aazam

September 21, 2022

Chang’e-7 is a multi-spacecraft mission involving an orbiter, lander, rover and a small, repetitive movable lander for investigating shadowed craters

The mission will now also carry the small UAE rover which will be developed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) in Dubai

Earlier Chinese mission plans suggested that the mission could launch around 2024 and before the Chang’e-6 sample return

the south polar region which provides good lighting conditions, safe landing areas and proximity to permanently shadowed craters that are thought to contain cold-trapped volatiles including water ice

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which restrict and control the export of technologies, could however pose different questions for the manufacture of the Rashid 2 rover

China has already landed two lander-rover missions on the near and far sides of the moon with Chang’e-3 and Chang’e-4 respectively

The country’s next scheduled lunar mission is Chang’e-6 which will attempt to collect samples from the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon

Chang’e-7 spacecraft will require different solar array designs to operate in challenging lighting conditions at the lunar south pole