UAE’s Mars Mission ‘Hope’ on verge of creating history with July 15 launch

The Emirates Mars Mission, UAE’s Hope Probe to the Red Planet is scheduled to be launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre on July 15 at 00:51:27 UAE time.
The H-IIA (F42) launch vehicle that will carry UAE’s Mars Mission Hope to the orbit from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan is being prepared for the July 15 launch.(Photo Credit: Dubai Media Office / Twitter)
The H-IIA (F42) launch vehicle that will carry UAE’s Mars Mission Hope to the orbit from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan is being prepared for the July 15 launch.(Photo Credit: Dubai Media Office / Twitter)
Updated on Jul 10, 2020 04:20 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Anubha Rohatgi

The United Arab Emirates is on the verge of creating history and joining an elite club of nations next week when it will launch its first-ever mission to Mars.

Called the Emirates Mars Mission, UAE’s Hope Probe to the Red Planet is scheduled to be launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre on July 15 at 00:51:27 UAE time.

With the launch, the oil-rich gulf nation will become the first country in the Arab world and only the fifth in the world after the United States, India, the former Soviet Union and the European Space Agency to have successfully sent missions to orbit the Mars, according to news agency AFP.

“I think one of the messages of this mission is hope, which is the name of the probe itself,” Hessa Al Matroushi, science data and analysis lead for the mission at the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center, told Space.com recently. “If a small nation like us is able to achieve this kind of mission and get ourselves to Mars, then everything is possible.”

Expected to reach Mars’ orbit in 2021 and designed to spend about one Martian year (roughly equivalent to two Earth years), the Hope Probe will provide the first global pictures of the Martian atmosphere and data will be shared freely with over 200 research centres across the world, according to a recent article in khaleejtimes.com.

Hope’s primary objective is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in Mars’ atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs, says AFP. However, the probe is a foundation for a much bigger goal -- building a human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years, adds the news agency.

“UAE figured out that space is very important for our development and sustainability. It’s a bridge to the future,” Mohammed al-Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, told AFP.

Sarah al-Amiri, 33, the mission’s deputy project manager and also the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, told AFP that the trip to Mars is “a message of hope for the region, to set an example of what is possible if we take the talent of the youth and use them positively, this is what’s possible”.

There were 450 engineers, technicians and experts are involved in the project.

The spaceship will travel 495 million km. It has a cruise speed of 121,000km/hour, according to khaleejtimes article.

Apart from UAE, two other countries are also set to launch their Mars Missions in July - China will launch the Tianwen-1 between July 20 and July 25 while the United States’ Mars 2020 is set for a July 30 launch. All three missions have taken their positions, hoping to take advantage of the period of time when the Earth and Mars are nearest: a mere 55 million kilometres (34 million miles) apart.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022