Abu Dhabi: The countdown has started for the UAE's historic launch to Mars, in the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the final preparations of the Hope Probe, scheduled to blast off on July 15 from Tanegashima island in Japan.
The Emirates Mars Mission seeks to establish the UAE’s entry to the space industry, advance the country’s capabilities in space science and engineering and develop young Emirati and Arab talents capable of contributing to global efforts in space exploration.
"The Hope Probe embodies the culture of possibilities deeply rooted in the UAE’s approach, philosophy and journey of accelerating development since the foundation," said Shaikh Mohammed.
"Our journey to space represents a message of hope to every Arab citizen that we have the innovation, resilience and efforts to compete with the greatest of nations in the race for knowledge," he added.
"Hope Probe is an accomplishment for every Arab, a source of pride for every Emirati, and a path-breaking achievement for our engineers," he pointed out, as he met the Emirates Mars Mission team.
The journey of transferring the Hope Probe from Dubai to the launch site in Tanegashima Island in Japan, which remained on track despite Covid-19 complications, spanned more than 83 hours and underwent three major stages.
The lift-off is scheduled on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 00:51:27 (UAE time) from Tanegashima Space Centre.
The unmanned probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit in February 2021, marking the UAE’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
The Hope Probe is currently undergoing extensive testing operations at the launch station in Japan. A team of specialised young Emirati engineers are currently supervising the probe’s pre-launch preparations.
The probe will provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers.
It will gather scientific data on the Martian atmosphere and share it freely with scientific and academic partners around the world.
The data will give deeper insights into the past and future of the Earth and the potential of life for humans on Mars and on other distant planets. Three advanced science instruments mounted on the probe will capture complete data from Mars.
The Emirates Mars Mission will study why the Red Planet is losing its upper atmosphere and explore the connection between lower and upper layers of the atmosphere.
It will also be the first probe to study climate throughout daily and seasonal cycles, observing weather phenomena such as dust storms, changes in temperature, and changes in the Martian atmosphere patterns depending on topography.
The probe will reveal the causes of Martian surface corrosion.
The historic mission will co-ordinate with the global Mars science community to answer key questions that no other mission has previously addressed around the Red Planet.