An artist's impression of the red planet. File
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE seeks to map the space frontier with its ambitious Hope Probe. 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. The launch of the Hope Probe into space is scheduled for July 15 – about a week’s time.
The red planet has always captured human imagination for centuries. Now, we are at a junction where we know a great deal about the planet, and we have the vision and technology to explore further. Mars is an obvious target for exploration for many reasons. From our pursuit to find extra-terrestrial life to someday expand human civilization to other planets, Mars serves as a long-term and collaborative project for the entire human race.
Facts about Mars:
After decades of exploration we consider Mars to be the closest habitable planet with proximity to Earth. While there are other planets that are even closer to Earth, none of them have features like Mars has, to potentially sustain life, like:
- Its soil contains water
- It has a tolerable climate
- It receives enough sunlight to power solar panels
- Its gravity is sufficient for the human body to adapt to
- It has various seasons and its day and night breakup is almost equivalent to that of Earth’s
Beyond our search for life on Mars, it also offers us the opportunity to understand the origin and evolution of the climatic and geological process that has shaped its current state and if it is applicable to other planets in the solar system. Many of the missions sent to Mars have shown us that it was habitable in its past. Understanding the evolution of Mars’ surface and atmosphere could help us predict the future of our planet.
The Emirates Mars Mission "Hope Probe" will be the first probe to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers when it reaches the red planet’s orbit in 2021. It will help answer key questions about the global Martian atmosphere and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space over the span of one Martian year.
Objectives of Emirates Mars Mission:
1. Understand climate dynamics and the global weather map through characterizing the lower atmosphere of Mars.
2. Explain how the weather changes the escape of Hydrogen and Oxygen through correlating the lower atmosphere conditions with the upper atmosphere.
3. Understand the structure and variability of Hydrogen and Oxygen in the upper atmosphere, as well as identifying why Mars is losing them into space.
The team excited about Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, culminating 6 years of hard work and dedication.
The cost of the Hope Mars Mission reached US$ 200 million (Dhs735 million), which is considered among the lowest in the world when compared with similar programmes.
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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