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Launch date set for Emirates Mars Mission

By JT - May 19,2020 - Last updated at May 19,2020

The UAE’s Mars Hope Probe is scheduled to take off on July 15, according to the Emirates Mars Mission (Photo courtesy of the Emirates Mars Mission)

AMMAN — The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, on Tuesday announced the scheduled launch of its Mars Hope Probe in a 495,000,000km journey to reach and orbit the Red Planet, according to a mission statement.

 

The countdown to the launch begins after the probe’s successful transfer from the UAE to Japan, in a journey that spanned more than 83 hours by land, air and sea.

As planned, the world will see the Hope Probe launch into space on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 00:51:27 UAE time (05:51:27, Japan time) from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre, leveraging the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI H2A) platform, the statement said.

The scheduled launch date represents the opening of the launch window for the Emirates Mars Mission, which extends to August 13, 2020.

The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI H2A) platform was chosen as a result of its “proven expertise and reputation” in space technology around the world, and its high success rates in launching spacecraft and satellites globally, read the statement.

The UAE, for its part, has previously collaborated with MHI to successfully launch the Khalifa Sat satellite.

Since its arrival at TNSC in Japan, the Hope Probe has undergone detailed processing operations for the launch. This process completed over 50 working days, entails filling the fuel tank with about 700 kilogrammes of hydrogen fuel and ensuring there are no leaks.

The process also requires testing the communication and control devices, moving the probe to the launch pad, installing the probe on the rocket that will carry it to space, and ensuring the probe batteries are fully charged, the statement said.

A team of Emirati nationals is leading the operation and supervising every aspect of the probe’s preparation for its launch, noted the statement.

Sarah Bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and Emirates Mars Mission Deputy Project Manager, said in the statement: “The challenges overcome by the Hope Probe team amidst the global pandemic confirm the UAE mission’s commitment to achieve the impossible. It is a mentality that has now been embedded within the current and future generations. This mission embodies the nation’s aspirations, sends a positive message to the world and demonstrates the importance of carrying on unabated despite barriers and challenges.”

 

She continued: “Our team continues to work diligently to ensure the mission’s success, and we look forward to collectively celebrate the arrival of the probe on Mars in February 2021 – also coinciding with our 50-year anniversary.”

 

The Hope Probe is a national project that translates the vision of the UAE’s leadership to build an Emirati space programme that reflects the country's commitment to strengthening frameworks of international cooperation and finding solutions to global challenges for humanity’s benefit, according to the statement.

The first Arab-Islamic project to explore other planets, the mission carries a message of hope to revive a history rich in Arab achievements in science. Embodying the aspiration of the UAE, and its leadership to overcome the impossible, the Hope Probe is the nation’s contribution to shaping and making a promising future for humanity, read the statement.

The Hope Probe is anticipated to enter Mars’ orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE's golden jubilee celebrations to mark the historic union of the emirates, the statement said.

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