Scientists work on the Hope Probe at Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.
Yamama Bedwan, Staff Reporter
The last seven days during which the final preparations for the countdown to launch the UAE’s Probe of Hope into its orbit on Mars will start on Tuesday (July 8, 2020) from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre at 00:51.27 (UAE time) on July 15.
The preparation will be conducted through three basic steps, including safety checks of the probe and its readiness to launch, preparedness of the ground station and the operations team, and the technical checks of the rocket that will carry the probe.
Hope Probe will provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere
These seven days are necessary before placing the probe on the front of the space rocket.
The probe was subjected since its arrival at the space centre in Japan, to a 6 high-precision processing operations prior to the launch. They began by filling the fuel tank for the time with about 700 kg of “hydrazine” fuel, and ended by charging the probe batteries for the last time.
The launch operation is considered the most important stage among all stages related to the "Probe of Hope". It requires precise coordination in advance among all teams. The day of the launch also relies on various factors that are observed with great accuracy. Among these is the weather condition, which is the most important for the launch. It should be followed up and monitored continuously through the launch window, which remains available for about a month, and occurs every two years, due to the approaching of Mars from Earth.
Since its arrival at the space centre on Tanegashima Island in Japan on April 25th, a team of young Emirati cadres has been overseeing all aspects of preparing the "Probe of Hope", to launch its historic mission.
Hope Probe consists of a compact, hexagonal-section spacecraft, built from aluminium in a stiff but lightweight honeycomb structure and surfaced with a strong composite face-sheet. It weighs approximately 1,500 kg and measures 2.37 metres wide and 2.9 metres tall. It includes a high-gain antenna with a 1.5 m wide dish for communication with the Control and Operations Room at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.
It also includes a digital self-controlled camera that captures high-resolution colour images, a UV spectrometer to study the upper layers of the atmosphere of Mars and track the effects of hydrogen and oxygen gases in deep space, an infrared spectrometer to study the pattern of changes in temperature, ice, water vapour and dust and three 600-watt solar panels positioned on both sides of the Probe to remain closed during the launch process and open automatically when the Probe arrives on its track.
The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, announced the scheduled launch of its Mars Hope Probe in a 495,000,000km journey to reach and orbit the Red Planet.
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Achieving a critical milestone in its readiness for launch, the Emirates Mars Mission - Hope Probe spacecraft was encapsulated within the payload fairing ahead of its liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC), in Japan on July 15, 2020.
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