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UAE's Hope probe transmits first signal from space orbit

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on July 20, 2020
uae mars probe, dubai, japan

(Reuters)

Further details about the mission will be announced today at 1:00pm.

The UAE's Hope probe has transmitted its first signal from space early Monday morning. This came after the spacecraft's solar panels were deployed to charge its batteries following its separation from the launch vehicle.

The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announced that the Ground Control station located in the Al Khawaneej area of Dubai had successfully received the first transmission from the Hope Probe at 3:10 am, Monday.

Also read: (Live blog) Arab Hope off to Mars

Further details about the mission will be announced in a press conference that will take place in Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre today at 1:00pm.

The Hope Probe blasted off from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre at 1:58am Monday morning, the Probe then was successfully released from the rocket at 2:55am, and its solar panels were turned on to ensure at 3:00am, then the panels were set to face the sun properly.

The UAE Space Agency and MBRSC have announced that the first transmission was received at 3:11am. The team of the Ground Control Station has analysed the data to ensure that the solar panels are facing the sun properly.

The Ground Control Team is monitoring the functions of the Probe to ensure that all systems are working properly.

Upon its arrival to Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre, the Hope Probe went through many tests and preparations. This included filling the fuel tank with about 800kg of hydrogen fuel, checking the tank to ensure that it has no leaks, as well as checking the communications systems, moving the spacecraft to the launch pad and charging the batteries. Tests also included the craft's subsystems, such as measuring the electrical power, communication, altitude control, command and control, propulsion, thermal control and software systems.

There are three types of preparations that took place before the launch, the cover of the camera was removed, then the spacecraft was moved to the launchpad. The final preparations took place 18 hours before the launch.

It will take seven months to travel the 493 million km, it is expected to reach its Mars orbit in February 2021 marking the 50th anniversary of the UAE.

The launch of the probe was delayed two time due to unstable weather conditions, the July 20th was chosen as the third launch date.

The probe will remain orbiting Mars for an entire Martian year, 687 days, to gather sufficient data. A single orbit around Mars will take the probe 55 hours.

EMM aims to draw a clear and comprehensive picture of the Martian climate, which will give scientists deeper insight into the past and future of our own planet as well as the potential of life for humans on Mars and on other distant planets.

The Hope Probe team will communicate and share findings with the global Mars science community on key questions that no other mission has addressed before.


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