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article imageUAE's Mars Mission — Hope project due to launch July 14

By Karen Graham     Jun 27, 2020 in Technology
On July 14, the Emirates Mars Mission will launch its "Hope" probe to begin a seven-month-long journey to the Red Planet. The probe will study the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere and its interaction with outer space and the solar wind.
The Mars orbiter was developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, UAE in partnership with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The mission also marks a major change in an industry previously dominated by the major powers of the world.
The probe is called Amal, meaning Hope, and the robotic craft is due to lift off from a remote Japanese island, Tanegashima, Powered by a Japanese Mitsubishi H-IIA booster. during a narrow launch window on 14 July.
Besides studying the connection between current martian weather and the ancient climate of Mars, Hope will also study the loss mechanisms of Mars' atmosphere into space by tracking the behavior and escape of hydrogen and oxygen.
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THE MOHAMMED BIN RASHID SPACE CENTRE
But looking at the bigger picture, the probe will investigate how the lower and upper levels of the martian atmosphere are connected, and create a global picture of how the martian atmosphere varies throughout the day and year.
This means the Mars probe will remain in orbit around the Red Planet for an entire Martian year, 687 days. A single orbit around Mars will take 55 hours.
The BBC is reporting that the program's science lead Sarah Al-Amiri said the project should be a major incentive for young Arab scientists to embark on a career in space engineering.
It will take seven months for the Hope probe to travel the 493 million km (308 million miles) to reach Mars. It is expected to reach its destination in February 2021. The UAE government’s national objective is to reach Mars by December 2021—the end of the country’s 50th anniversary.
The Hope Probe—a 3 300-pound  2.9-meter-tall cuboid aluminium structure with three folding solar p...
The Hope Probe—a 3,300-pound, 2.9-meter-tall cuboid aluminium structure with three folding solar panels attached.
Dubai Media Office
Three types of sensors will measure Mars' atmosphere
The probe will carry three scientific instruments mounted on one side of the spacecraft. One, called the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) is a high resolution multiband (visible and UV) camera for measuring the planet's dust and ozone.
The second is the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), a far-UV imaging spectrograph for measuring the lower atmosphere and co-developed with Arizona State University, one of the project's three US partner universities.
The third sensor is the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS), and FTIR scanning spectrometer for measuring oxygen and hydrogen levels. Al-Amiri said one of the focuses of the research will be on how these two elements, essential for water, are escaping from the planet.
Portrait of STS 51-G crew. Kneeling in front are Astronauts Daniel C. Brandenstein (left) and John O...
Portrait of STS 51-G crew. Kneeling in front are Astronauts Daniel C. Brandenstein (left) and John O. Creighton, commander and pilot, respectively. Astronauts Shannon W. Lucid, Steven R. Nagel, and John M. Fabian, mission specialist (l.-r.) joing Payload specialists Sultan Salman Abdelazize Al-Saud (second right) and Patrick Baudry on the back row.
NASA
While the Hope Mission will be the UAS's first Mars mission, they do have a good track record when it comes to space. The UAE has sent satellites into the Earth's orbit and one of its astronauts to the International Space Station. The first Arab astronaut to go into space was Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Bin Salman Al-Saud, who flew on the US space shuttle in 1985.
Restoring cultural pride
It is important that we remember that eight centuries ago, it was Arab inventors and intellectuals who were right at the forefront of scientific discovery. This was cited by the ruler of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. And while integrating science and technology into the UAE’s economy will create a big change, it will eventually pay off.
It is his hope that this ambitious project will rekindle a sense of cultural pride and help the region to diversify away from its dependence on the oil industry. Omran Sharaf, Project Lead for the Emirates Mars Mission, explained: “Reaching Mars is not the main objective here—this is about strengthening our knowledge economy by making it more innovative, creative and competitive. It’s about the post-oil economy.”
More about hope probe, United arab emirates, Emirates Mars Mission, postoil economy, Technology
 
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