KT exclusive: Hope Probe to enter science orbit in April instead of May



Dubai - The testing has been completed ahead of the schedule, says EMM director.

By Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 16 Mar 2021, 5:08 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Mar 2021, 6:18 PM

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) -- Hope Probe --- has completed its commissioning and testing phase and the transition into the science orbit is likely to take place in April instead of May.

The testing has been completed ahead of the schedule, Omran Sharaf, director of the EMM, told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview. “The plan was to transition into the science orbit in May, but it might happen sooner than that, and hopefully in April,” he said.

He added, "Things are going well with the mission. We're expecting to transition into the science orbit earlier than planned. There are different opportunities that may come up moving forward, but we cannot jump into conclusion and say we will accelerate other phases or operations within the mission. "

Engineers at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have been busy calibrating the Hope Probe’s three instruments and gathering data while the spacecraft has been in its capture orbit.

Sharaf: UAE used space to build its science and technology capabilities

Sharaf, who is at the helm of affairs at the EMM, had always dreamt since his formative years to work on a project or a mission that was space related.

However, he wasn’t certain if his dream would come true someday.

“I wasn’t sure when I was young if that would be possible because at that time the UAE as a country was not developed in space technology. We were users and operators of space technologies, but not developers.”

The UAE has achieved the stellar feat by pushing its talented youth out of their comfort zones.

“Usually, nations have their science and technology capabilities established before going into space. But the UAE’s story is on the contrary, as we used space to build our science and technology capabilities. I never imagined then that one day I’ll be working on a Mars Mission,” he added.

But as the UAE’s wise and visionary leadership always maintained that “anything is possible with our beautiful country”.

Sharaf’s message to the youth

As the Emirati Children’s Day was celebrated on Monday (March 15) amid great fervour in the UAE while complying with all Covid-19-related norms and restrictions, Sharaf pointed out that the youth should be prudent about their future decisions in life

“My message to all the children/youth living in the UAE, both Emirati and expats is…don’t limit yourself, pursue what you like and love. Be wise and smart about the decisions you make for your future. Understand the difference between a hobby and a career. If you enjoy a hobby, you should try and develop it and also enjoy what you do professionally later. Make your work part of your lifestyle. Some may be too young to understand this but as they grow up especially the youth, they need to think about it. Whatever they want to pursue in the future should be part of their lifestyle,” he said.


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