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Video: UAE's Mars Hope Probe arrives at launch site in Japan

Sahim Salim
Filed on April 26, 2020 | Last updated on April 26, 2020 at 06.24 am
UAE’s Mars Hope Probe

(Image: Twitter)

A video showing the massive 83-hour mission was released by Sheikh Mohammed.

The UAE's Mars probe has been transferred from Dubai's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to its launch site on the Tanegashima island in Japan. A video showing the massive 83-hour mission was released by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The feat was achieved under the supervision of a team of Emirati engineers despite a Covid-19-triggered suspension of international travel. The video showed the engineers adhering to precautionary measures like wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing as they went about their business.

The probe, which forms the core of the Emirates Mars Mission, will be launched in July this year. It is expected to reach the Red Planet in the first quarter of 2021, which will mark the golden jubilee of the emirates' union in 1971.

Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that the team is still eyeing the July take-off date as per the plan.

He expressed pride in the feat that was accomplished despite restrictions due to the Covid-19 situation. "Despite tough global travel conditions, our engineers are working according to schedule to complete the region's top space science project," he said.

He pointed out that the probe was developed in less than six years instead of 10 "and at half the cost".  

"The Hope probe represents a turning point for the Arab and Islamic world in the space sector. Reaching Mars is not only a scientific goal, it sends a message to our Arab youth that we are capable and that hope transcends the distance between earth and the skies."

As reported by Khaleej Times, in February the final component on the probe featuring the names and signatures of Their Highnesses the UAE Rulers and Crown Princes was installed. The inscription on the component reads: "The power of hope shortens the distance between the earth and the sky."

The probe will be launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre and its journey is expected to take seven to nine months. Called Al Amal in Arabic, the Hope Probe will become the first to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers.

It will help answer key questions about the planet's environment and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases in space. The spacecraft is also expected to collect more than 1,000GB of new data on Mars. This first-of-its-kind data collection will then be stored at a specialised national centre and shared with the global scientific community for free.


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