The UAE launched its first-ever interplanetary mission with the launch of its Mars probe Sunday


According to CNBC, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its first-ever interplanetary mission on Sunday. ~

The UAE successfully launched its Mars probe, named Hope, from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan. “We have lift-off. H2A, the rocket carrying the Hope Probe to space, has launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan,” the official twitter account for the Hope Mars Mission tweeted early Monday morning. “The Hope Probe is the culmination of every single step that humans have taken throughout history to explore the unknown depths of space.” Within a few hours of liftoff, the ground segment at Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre established two-way communication with the probe. ~

The Hope probe, called “Al Amal” in Arabic, is scheduled to reach Mars’ orbit in February 2021. The probe will spend one Mars year — equivalent to 687 days on Earth — studying and gathering data on the red planet’s atmosphere. “It is a weather satellite, and that’s one objective of the mission,” Sarah al-Amiri, the Mars mission’s lead scientist and UAE minister of state for advanced sciences told Spaceflight Now. “We also look at what role Mars’ weather plays in atmospheric loss. That’s the other part of the mission.” Costing about 200 million dollars, the Emirates Mars Mission partnered with a team at the University of Colorado Boulder to build the spacecraft, drawing on expertise from the university’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. But the UAE itself has spent years investing in space research and development. The UAE founded its space agency in 2014 after launching satellites in 2009 and 2013, which they developed jointly with South Korean partners. ~

Ahmad Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency and minister of state for higher education, said in a statement that “The Emirates has successfully launched the first interplanetary mission in the Arab world, commencing a 493-million-kilometer (306-million-mile) journey to Mars.” He continued, “This is a huge leap forward for the UAE’s ambitious space program” (Aviation Analysis). ~


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