Emirati officials brief Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum about a possible moon mission, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 29, 2020.
Gulf state boosts space program, could become fourth nation in the world to land on the moon.
The United Arab Emirates plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024, a top Emirati official said Tuesday, the latest gamble in the stars by the oil-rich nation that could see it become only the fourth nation on Earth to accomplish that goal.
The announcement by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the hereditarily ruled UAE, shows the rapid expansion of the space program that bears his name. Already, an Emirati space probe is hurtling through space on its way to Mars while last year it sent its first astronaut to the International Space Station.