The UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre have confirmed that the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe will launch within a year.
The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have confirmed that the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM)’s Hope Probe will launch within a year.
MBRSC said it plans to launch the Hope Probe into orbit around mid-July 2020, and it is expected to reach Mars orbit in the first quarter of 2021, the year of the Golden Jubilee of the UAE.
It will mark the first Arab project to explore another planet.
The programme aims to collect information on Mars’ meteorological layers and study the causes of loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases, the two main constituents of water, from the upper layer of the Martian atmosphere. For the first time, a space exploration mission will be able to take a global picture of the Martian atmosphere.
A joint statement said that the launch window of the Hope Probe is due to begin in the second half of July 2020. The launch window is the time during which the Hope Probe must be sent to Mars as Earth and Mars would be at their closest point, which happens only once every two years.
The Hope Probe will be launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan, with a carrier rocket similar to that used for the launch of satellites. It will take from seven to nine months to reach Mars. In its journey to Mars, the probe will need to change its position from time to time to point its solar panels at the sun to charge its batteries, and to point its antenna back at Earth to maintain contact with mission control.
The Hope Probe is expected to collect more than 1,000 GB of new data on the Red Planet.