Video: UAE's Hope Probe is the first weather satellite on Mars

Dubai - It takes about 11 minutes for a one-way communication to Mars or back.

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 9 Feb 2021, 3:59 PM

Hope Probe, the UAE’s mission to Mars, is the first weather satellite on the Red Planet, said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology.

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The Arab world's first interplanetary mission, Hope is set to enter its Martian orbit at 7.42pm tonight (Tuesday, February 9, 2021). Catch live updates here.

Mars is infamous for its dust storms that start in localised areas and then cover the entire planet.

“At 7.30pm UAE time, the burn for entering into Mars orbit will start and includes 27-minutes of thrusters going in reverse positions to significantly reduce the speed all the way down to 18,000km ... That is one of the toughest parts of the missions so far,” said Al Amiri in an interview with CNBC.

She said this is a rehearsed and tested procedure and the spacecraft does it autonomously. “So we have no real-time communication with the spacecraft. It takes about 11 minutes for a one-way communication to Mars or back,” she added.

“Hope is the first weather satellite on Mars, so it characterises the weathers of Mars throughout the Martian year, which is equivalent to two earthly years.

"Why is it important? Because Mars that has evolved today is due to changes in its weather system and atmosphere. It will help understand what happened in the past and how Mars is going to evolve in the future,” added Al Amiri.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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