UAE postpones launch of Hope Probe again - GulfToday

UAE postpones launch of Hope Probe again


Hope Probe being readied for launch at the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

A new launch date in July will be announced within the next 24 hours. After extensive meetings, the UAE Space Agency and MBR Space Centre, through discussions with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, announce a further delay of the Mars Hope Probe launch due to continued unstable weather conditions at the launch site in Tanegashima Island, Japan.

The United Arab Emirates has postponed the launch of its mission to Mars for a second time due to weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, the government's communications office said on Wednesday.

A new launch date in July will be announced soon, the statement on Twitter said. The UAE has said the launch window extends until Aug. 3, adds Reuters.

The UAE's Hope Probe was due to launch from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center at 12:51am UAE time on Wednesday (2051 GMT Tuesday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet where it was due to orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.

Weather conditions


Weather conditions play a central role in ensuring a safe rocket launch to space due to the weather’s impact on the upper atmosphere. A further evaluation will be conducted five hours before the new launch time, and once again an hour before liftoff.


Hope Probe rescheduled to launch on July 17

Hope Probe raring to start its historic journey to Mars

According to the weather forecasts by Japan Meteorological Agency, heavy rainstorms are expected to continue in southern and central Japan.


Since July 4, Japan has been reeling from devastating rains and flooding that damaged 14,000 properties, hardly hitting the southwestern-most island of Kyushu, while heavy rains have spread into the central mainland.


Launch window


The new liftoff meets the launch window that extends until August 3, 2020. The launch window has been set after careful study of the earth and Mars orbits to ensure the Hope probe arrives in the shortest period of time consuming the least levels of energy.


The UAE’s Mars mission is subject for another delay if weather conditions remained unstable within the three-week launch window.


The delay of Mars space missions is commonly caused by unsuitable weather conditions and technical issues.


NASA had earlier postponed the launch of its Mars Perseverance rover three times until today.


The rover is scheduled to reach Mars on February 2021, with NASA’s experts announcing the possibility of postponing the mission to the autumn of 2022 if the rover was not given the go before the launch window closes mid-August.  


Earlier in March 2020, the European Space Agency and its Russian counterpart Roscosmos Space Corporation decided to postpone the launch of the ExoMars mission to study the Red Planet to 2022 due to multiple technical issues.

The American Space X has also postponed the launch of its 10th batch of Starlink communication satellites atop its Falcon 9 rocket three times.

The rocket was initially scheduled to carry 57 satellites to operate in the Earth orbit on June 26, 2020 before it was postponed to July 8 for further preflight checks.

A second delay to July 11 was caused by the weather, while another was caused by further rocket checks.

The Emirati project is one of three racing to Mars, including Tianwen-1 from China and Mars 2020 from the United States, taking advantage of the period when the Earth and Mars are nearest, some 55 million Kilometres (34 million miles) apart.

"Hope" or Al-Amal in Arabic is expected to reach Mars's orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the uae.

Once there, it will loop the planet for a whole Martian year -- 687 days.

The objective of the UAE Mars mission is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in the Red Planet's atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs.

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