Photos: UAE's mission to Mars days away from launch

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on June 30, 2020 | Last updated on June 30, 2020 at 08.17 pm
dubai, mars probe uae, hope probe, launch

(Dubai Media Office)

The probe is expected to reach the Red Planet in the first quarter of 2021.

The UAE is just 15 days away from beginning its historic journey to the Red Planet. The country's probe called 'Hope' is scheduled to take off from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre on July 15.

Hope's 495,000,000km journey will begin at 00:51:27 UAE time (05:51:27, Japan time) on July 15. The scheduled launch date represents the opening of the launch window for the Emirates Mars Mission, which extends to August 13, 2020.

On Tuesday, the Government of Dubai Media Office took to Twitter to post photos of the H-IIA (F42) launch vehicle that will take the probe to Mars. The photos show engineers applying final touches to the rocket, as it is prepared for the launch.

The probe is expected to reach the Red Planet in the first quarter of 2021, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the emirates' union in 1971.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had vowed to "gift the world with a wealth of space-related knowledge and expertise". He said the Mars mission is a testament of the capabilities of the country's youth. It sends a message of hope to the youth in the Arab world, he added.

The Hope probe will be the first to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers. It will help answer key questions about the planet's atmosphere and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space over the span of one Martian year.

It will use of three scientific instruments. The first is an infra-red spectrometer to measure the planet's lower atmosphere and analyse the temperature structure. The second, a high-resolution imager, will provide information about the ozone. The third is an ultraviolet spectrometer to measure oxygen and hydrogen levels from a distance of up to 43,000km from the surface.

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