DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ space center plans to launch a rover to the moon sooner than initially planned, announcing a new and more ambitious timeline. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center said Wednesday it will partner with Japan’s ispace to send the “Rashid” rover — named after Dubai’s ruling family — to the moon. The aim is to land the rover via an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by 2022, rather than 2024. The lunar mission is part of the Arab Gulf state’s broader strategy to become a major player in the field of space exploration. Already, an Emirati space probe is studying the atmosphere around Mars and the first Emirati astronaut was sent to the International Space Station in 2019.