The United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its first-ever interplanetary Hope Probe mission to Mars from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre.
What is it?
The Emirates Mars Mission is a space exploration mission to Mars, which launched the Hope orbiter (Al Amal in Arabic).
H2A, the rocket carrying the Hope Probe to space, was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan on 19 July 2020.
Hope Probe Spacecraft is expected to reach the Mars by February 2021, to coincide with UAE’s 50th anniversary of its formation.
It 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 Mars.
It will attempt to answer the scientific questions of why Martian atmosphere is losing hydrogen and oxygen into space and the reason behind drastic climate changes of Mars.
Bodies involved: It was built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, an United Arab Emirates Space Agency, as well as the University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
If successful, it would become the first mission to Mars by any West Asian, Arab or Muslim majority country.
The Hope probe will be the first to study the Martian climate throughout daily and seasonal cycles.
The UAE launch marks the first of three missions being planned to Mars in the end of July.
China plans its first Mars probe, Tianwen-1 (formerly Huoxing 1), in the coming few days.
The US, the only country that has sent previous missions to Mars, plans its Perseverance mission on July 30.