The UAE's Hope Probe has officially begun its first day in Mars.
According to an official statement by Emirates Mars Mission, the ground control team of Emirati engineers has restored communication with the probe and is in the process of ensuring its systems remain intact after the dangerous phase it has just passed.
Daily contact will be scheduled between the probe and the team on Earth for the next 3-4 weeks. And, if all goes well, the jubilant UAE nation may not have to wait very long to add another successful milestone to its cap, as the probe is expected to capture its first picture of Mars in the first week of its arrival.
What lies ahead
The next stage in the Hope Probe’s journey is the transition from its current Capture Orbit to an acceptable Science Orbit in preparation for its primary science operations.
The rebooting of the probe’s systems can last for 45 days, while the radio signals will take from 11-22 minutes to travel from Hope to Earth and back.
The last phase of the probe’s journey is expected to begin in April 2021. The Science phase will allow the probe to complete the first-ever planet-wide, 24x7 picture of Mars’ atmospheric dynamics and weather daily, throughout all seasons for one full Martian year.
One Martian year equals 687 earth days — which means that the phase will last until April 2023. The probe, however, can be used for another two years for additional data collection.
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