The UAE's first mission to Mars arrives at the red planet on Tuesday and will attempt a tricky maneuver to place it in orbit. The Emirates Mars Mission, known as the Hope Probe, sent back a signal confirming it's in orbit. When the spacecraft arrives, the Hope Probe will mark the UAE as only the fifth country in history to reach the red planet.
Congratulations to the UAE leaders, its people & everyone around the world on the successful arrival of the Hope Probe to Mars. Congratulations to the Emirati women & men on their incredible success in making history. Our journey will now continue towards greater achievements. pic.twitter.com/WB54LSQL4y— Maktoum Bin Mohammed (@MaktoumMohammed) February 9, 2021
The spacecraft, which left Earth seven months ago, had to make a braking manoeuvre to be sure of being captured by Mars' gravity. UAE scientists can now look forward to studying the planet's atmosphere. Their satellite carries three instruments that will observe, among other targets, how neutral atoms of hydrogen and oxygen - remnants from Mars' once abundant water - leak into space. In the process, Hope will return spectacular, high-resolution, full-disk images of the planet.
The Emirates Mars Mission is a United Arab Emirates Space Agency un crewed space exploration mission to Mars. The Hope orbiter was launched on 19 July 2020 at 21:58:14 UTC, and reached Mars on 9 February 2021.
The spacecraft was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan with a Japanese rocket, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA launcher. The mission design, development, and operations are led by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.
The spacecraft was developed by MBRSC and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, with support from Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of California, Berkeley. It was assembled at the University of Colorado.
The space probe will study daily and seasonal weather cycles, weather events in the lower atmosphere such as dust storms, and how the weather varies in different regions of the planet. It will also attempt to find out why it is losing hydrogen and oxygen into space and other possible reasons behind its drastic climate changes.
The mission is being carried out by a team of Emirati engineers in collaboration with foreign research institutions, and is a contribution towards a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.
Hope was the first of three space missions sent toward Mars during the July 2020 Mars launch window, with missions also launched by the national space agencies of China (Tianwen-1) and the United States (Mars 2020 and its Perseverance rover). All three are expected to arrive at Mars in February 2021. The Emirates Mars Mission was the first of the three to arrive at Mars, performing a successful orbit entry maneuver on 9 February 2021.