How to watch the UAE’s Rashid rover Moon mission launch and what time will it be?
The UAE’s lunar rover Rashid is scheduled to lift off this Sunday.
The launch has been postponed several times but is now scheduled for 11:38 a.m. UAE time from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Japanese company ispace built the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander that will take the Rashid rover to the moon, with a landing expected in late April.
A Falcon 9 rocket will also launch Emirati astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi from Kennedy Space Center early next year.
And MBZ-Sat, expected to be the region’s most powerful imaging satellite, will also be launched on a Falcon 9 late next year.
With several missions pending in the Emirates, The National explains the best places to watch launches on the Space Coast or online.
Jetty Park Rocket Launch Viewpoint
One of the most popular places to watch a rocket launch is Jetty Park Beach and Fishing Pier.
The Cape Canaveral location has a beach, campground, and fishing dock, as well as many bathrooms.
The park is only 17 kilometers from Launch Complex 40 – the launch site of the UAE’s lunar mission.
The launch complex 39A – from which probably Dr. Al Neyadi will take off – is about 22 kilometers away.
The clear view of the launch sites makes this a popular spot for photographers and film crews.
A day pass to enter the park costs $16 (Dh58.77) per vehicle.
Cocoa Beach, south of Cape Canaveral, is also a popular vantage point.
Alan Shepard Park
Named after the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard Park is south of the launch pads.
It is a seaside park with more than 300 parking spaces, picnic areas, playgrounds, showers and restrooms.
The area is popular with tourists and has many retail outlets within walking distance.
The parking fee for Shepard Park is $2.50 (Dh9) per hour or $15 (Dh55) per day.
Watch on a boat
If you want an unobstructed view of a launch and avoid crowds, there are dedicated boat tours to see rocket launches.
Prices can range from $50 (Dh183) to $100 (Dh367) per person, depending on which company you choose and how popular the upcoming launch is.
Barry Pendley captains the boats for the Banana Boat River Tours, where rocket launches can be seen.
“We can load six people at a time and run two boats,” he said.
“It seems that the manned missions are attracting many more people than the lunar missions.”
Boats are not allowed to enter the restricted areas.
While on a helicopter
An ultimate way to watch a rocket launch is from a helicopter.
There are companies on the Space Coast that offer this service and fly just outside of restricted airspace.
Helicopters can take you up to 1,129 meters so you can see the rocket launch from above.
Beachside Helicopters is one company that offers this experience.
They charge $250 (Dh918) per person, which includes a tour of the launch, a flight along the Port Canaveral cruise lines, and a tour of Cocoa Beach.
If the launch involves a rocket re-entry, the helicopter will remain in place until the launchers return and land again on the Kennedy Space Complex.
Live stream from SpaceX
If you prefer to watch online, SpaceX usually always offers a free live stream of the launch, unless the mission has a military customer who has requested that the launch not be broadcast.
It will be streamed live on SpaceX’s social media channels and its official website.
Updated December 09, 2022 11:09 am