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All eyes on weather as UAE's Mars probe gets new liftoff date

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on July 15, 2020 | Last updated on July 15, 2020 at 06.26 am
UAE’s Hope probe, mars mission, eyes on weather, UAEs Mars probe, new liftoff date

(Hope Probe/Twitter)

The new liftoff date is subject to another delay if weather conditions remain unstable.

The UAE's Hope probe to Mars has got a new launch date as foul weather in Japan delayed its scheduled liftoff by 48 hours. The Arab world's first interplanetary mission is now scheduled to take off on July 17 at 12.43am from the Tanegashima Space Centre.

The probe was scheduled to launch in the early hours of Wednesday, but "storm clouds rolled in around the launch pad", after which the mission was given a no-go.

The new liftoff date is subject to another delay if weather conditions remain unstable. "Is there a chance for further delay? Yes, there is always a chance," said Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission.

The team will target the earliest launch opportunity. "We have a three-week launch window. The weather in Japan has been very unstable. There is a lot of flooding. For a rocket launch, it's not just about the rain and wind, but also about cloud density, humidity and many different factors that we need to assess," said Sharaf.

The launch window till August 3 represents the time when the Earth is closest to Mars, he explained.

The rocket with its precious cargo has not been moved to the launch pad and has therefore not been exposed to the foul weather, he added.

nandini@khaleejtimes.com 


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