According to a press release from the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the agency will support the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre’s mission to land their Rashid Rover on the moon’s surface on 25 April 2023.
The Rashid Rover is the first lunar mission by the United Arab Emirates’ Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). As a payload on iSpace’s Hakuto-R M1 mission, the Rashid Rover lifted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, on 11 December 2022 and is expected to land on the surface of the moon from the 25th of April 2023.
SANSA’s Hartebeesthoek ground station will establish direct communication between the Rashid Rover and the ELM Control Centre, located at MBRSC facilities in Dubai, as the rover lands on the moon’s surface. To track and communicate with the spacecraft, SANSA will commission two antennas – a 12-meter S-band antenna for uplink transmissions and a 26-meter parabolic antenna for downlink transmissions.
This collaboration stems from an earlier agreement signed between the MBRSC and SANSA teams in December 2022 to complete the lunar mission successfully.
SANSA is proud to showcase its internationally acclaimed capability as a world-class ground station. SANSA takes pride in showcasing its internationally acclaimed capability as a world-class ground station to the media and the South African public.
Visit here for more information regarding the mission statement.
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