Video: UAE's Hope Probe bound for Mars is 85% complete
Most of the main parts have been completed and are currently being tested.- Dubai Media Office/Twitter
Dubai - Hope Probe is slated for blast-off in less than 500 days and it is planned to reach Mars by 2021.
The UAE's Hope Probe project - set to explore the Red Planet soon - is 85 per cent complete, it was announced on Monday (April 22).
The UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) issued a statement, confirming that most of the main parts have been completed and are currently being tested to ensure that the probe will be ready for activation, months before its launch date next year.
Hope Probe is slated for blast-off in less than 500 days and it is planned to reach Mars by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the UAE's foundation.
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"The UAE is on the verge of making history, after turning its dream of becoming the first Arabic and Islamic country to send a spacecraft to Mars into reality. This monumental endeavour is the culmination of the efforts of a skilled and experienced team of young Emiratis who, with the support of the nation and its visionary leadership, will secure the UAE's position at the forefront of space exploration," said Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.
Several aspects related to the probe's design, assembly of the structure, cameras and control have been verified. Other systems and components, as well as its ability to communicate with the ground station have been checked by the team.
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Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, said: "As the development of the Hope Probe enters its final stages, we mark yet another milestone achievement for this aspirational project. The next and final stage, prior to the probe's launch, will involve testing the probe's readiness to operate in outer space."
The probe has aced all the evaluations that have been done so far, and from June to December this year, it will be undergoing a series of five environmental tests.
The scientific devices the probe will be using - including The Emirates exploration imager (EXI), Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), and the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) - are ready.
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These devices are key to achieving the objectives of the scientific mission, which is a deeper and wider understanding of the Martian atmosphere.
Another unique aspect of this mission is that for the first time, a Mars exploration project will be able to take a global picture of the Red Planet's atmosphere.
An integrated picture of the atmosphere wil be taken throughout the day and for a long period of time, capturing all relevant data about the planet during different seasons across the year. Findings will be made available to the global community.
Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, director-general of the MBRSC, said: "Completing 85 per cent of the Hope Probe in this short period was a great challenge that we overcame through the guidance of our wise leadership and the efforts of our youth. The UAE has reached an advanced stage in achieving our wise leadership's vision to reach the Mars orbit by December 2021."
The MBRSC is responsible for the implementation and supervision of Emirates Mars Mission - Hope Probe, and its various scientific, educational and awareness initiatives. It is also executing and supervising all stages of the design, development and the launch of the Hope Probe in 2020.
The UAE Space Agency, on the other hand, is funding and supervising procedures and necessary details for the implementation of the project.
Status report: Mars probe taking shape
>Most of Hope Probe's main parts have been completed
>Parts are being tested
>Probe has aced tests that have been carried out so far
>5 environmental tests will be conducted from June to December 2019
>Launch date is less than 500 days away