The first United Arab Emirates space mission to Mars is scheduled to blast off from Japan on Monday, July 20 on a mission to unravel from above the weather dynamics in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
The unmanned probe named ‘Al Amal’ – Arabic for Hope – is to take off after being delayed by bad weather, marking the next step in the United Arab Emirates’ ambitious space program. The UAE’s latest space project draws inspiration from the Middle East’s golden age of cultural and scientific achievements.
شباب الإمارات .. غرس زايد .. نحصد اليوم ثمار غرسه .. مشروع نفاخر به العالم .. pic.twitter.com/lYZEjBDj8q
— سيف بن زايد آل نهيان (@SaifBZayed) July 17, 2020
The United Arab Emirates to launch Hope Orbiter this Monday
Under a national space strategy launched last year, the UAE is also eyeing future mining projects beyond Earth and space tourism and has signed a memorandum of understanding with Richard Branson’s space tourism company Virgin Galactic.
The next milestone is the launch of the ‘Hope’ probe, which officials say is designed to inspire the region’s youth and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs. The 1,350-kilogramme (2,970-pound) probe which is almost about the size of an SUV. The spacecraft was due to blast off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center Tuesday at 2051 GMT but poor weather delayed lift-off until later in the launch window, which runs until August 13.
The @uaespaceagency and @MBRSpaceCentre have announced updated launch date & time for UAE Mars Mission on July 20th,2020 at 01:58 am UAE local time. Any further delay,caused by weather conditions at the launch site in Japan's Tanegashima Island,will be communicated in due course. pic.twitter.com/eaQSSAj3ID
— MBR Space Centre (@MBRSpaceCentre) July 17, 2020
The Hope Mars Orbiter will take seven months to travel the 493 million kilometers, or almost 307 million miles to Mars, in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the emirates’ union in 2021.
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Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.