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UAE's Hope probe is cruising towards Mars

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on July 20, 2020

(KT/Juidin Bernard)

Officials addressing the first press conference after Hope reached its space orbit.

The UAE's Hope probe is "healthy and successfully cruising towards Mars", a top official has said.

Omran Sharaf, Project Manager, Emirates Mars Mission, said: "The first data from the spacecraft was received around 3.10 am. It symbolises our journey towards Mars."

The official was addressing the first press conference after Hope reached its space orbit in just over an hour after it took off from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre earlier today.

In just an under an hour after take-off, the spacecraft separated from its launch vehicle. Its solar panels were deployed so as to charge the probe's batteries. Soon after, it transmitted its first signal.

The official added that the team is continuously receiving signals from the spacecraft.

"The team is operating on a 24/7 basis now. For two weeks, we are going to have a 24-hour monitoring of the spacecraft. (It all) depends on how quickly we can get through the initial testing and other phases.

"If we finish it earlier, say for instance within a week with a 24/7 approach, then after two weeks, we will switch to three or two contacts per week."


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