The UAE is set to launch the Arab world’s first mission to Mars in the early hours of Monday, 20 July at 1:58am (local time) from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center, the government announced today. The mission was postponed from its previous launch dates of 15 and 17 July due to weather conditions.
Titled the Hope Probe, The Emirates Mars Mission will be the first-ever attempt to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers when it successfully reaches the planet’s orbit. The spacecraft is expected to take about seven months to reach the Red Planet, Mars, after which it’ll capture its images. The mission is expected to take one Martian year (about two Earth years) to complete cruising its total distance of 493.5 million kilometers.
The mission has seen the efforts of more than 150 Emirati engineers, scientists and researchers over a period of six years. The Hope Probe executives have been operating on a budget of Dhs735 million. “The Hope Probe is standing tall and is waiting for the countdown,” Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, wrote in a letter to the UAE Mars Team.
On the launch day, the Hope Probe will take off on a Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket toward the east and will travel over the Pacific Ocean. The launch can be watched live on the Emirates Mars Mission website.
Images credit: Emirates Mars Mission