UAE’s Hope Probe at most critical phase ahead of landing on Mars

WAM/Abu Dhabi
Filed on February 3, 2021

Spacecraft will have to slow down 121,000km/h to 18,000km/h to enter Mars’ orbit on February 9

As the countdown beigns for the first-ever Arab interplanetary mission to enter into the Red Planet's orbit, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said today that Hope Probe is now in its most critical stage as the spacecraft is set to enter into Mars’ orbit on February 9 at 7.42 pm UAE time.

Also read: UAE's Hope probe to reach Mars orbit in less than 2 weeks

At an MBRSC briefing on Tuesday, Omran Sharaf, Project Director of Emirates Mars Mission, said the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) is at a critical stage when the Hope Probe will have to slowdown sufficiently to enter into Mars’ orbit. As it approaches the orbit, the spacecraft will use its thrusters to reduce its speed.

"Precision is fundamental to success to avoid, God Forbid, Hope Probe crashing on Mars or missing its orbit and getting lost in deep space," he added.

"The design, system and software that will be used for the MOI are all Emirati-made. This is in line with the directive from the UAE leadership to build and not to buy," he added.

The Hope probe’s complex maneuver on February 9 will be the most critical part of the mission that will see the spacecraft rapidly reducing its speed from 121,000km/h to 18,000km/h to enter Mars’ orbit.

Upon arriving to Mars, after travelling 493 million km, in a seven-month journey since its launch on July 20, 2020 from Tanegashima Island in Japan, the probe will provide the first-ever complete picture of the Martian atmosphere.

The unmanned spacecraft will explore the climactic dynamics of the Red Planet in daily and seasonal timescales for a full Martian year (687 earth days), an endeavour that has never been pursued by any previous mission.

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