Hope Probe will have one shot to capture Mars’ orbit, or disappear in space: Omran Sharaf - GulfToday

VIDEO: Hope Probe will have one shot to capture Mars’ orbit, or disappear in space: Omran Sharaf

Omran Sharaf briefs the media about the Hope Probe’s latest development.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The Hope Probe project organised a media briefing at the headquarters of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Al Khawaneej area, Dubai, in cooperation with the UAE government media office.

The engineering team for Hope Probe operations held the briefing to announce completion of the necessary preparations for the arrival of the Probe to capture orbit around Mars, which is scheduled for Feb.9 at 7.42 pm UAE time.

Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of Emirates Mars Mission, Hope Probe said, “The stage of entering Mars’ orbit is completely different from the launch phase, and we have only one opportunity to enter the Hope Probe into Mars orbit on Feb.9.

“At the stage of entering the orbit around Mars, if we are unable to slow down the probe’s speed to the required level and enter it into the orbit in the correct direction, perhaps we may lose the Probe completely, either into deep space or it may collide with the surface of Mars.”

The engineering team for the operations of the Hope Probe have completed the necessary preparations for the historic moment culminating seven years of scientific and logistical efforts to complete the Emirates Mars Exploration Project.

Mars Orbit 1 The Hope Probe completed first trajectory correction manoeuvre in August.

The event was attended by representatives of local and regional media, newspapers and news sites.

The engineering team affirmed that the Probe’s tasks are multiple, but their goal is one, that is reaching Mars’ orbit successfuly, in preparation for the start of its historic mission.

The briefing was attended by Engineer Omran Sharaf, Project Manager, Engineer Suhail Al Dhafri, Deputy Project Manager for Probe Development Affairs, Engineer Ibrahim Abdullah Al Medfa, Control System Engineer and Control Systems Team Leader, and Engineer Ali Jumaa Al Suwaidi, FlatSat engineer.

hope-probe The team behind the launch of Hope Probe.

Engineer Omran Sharaf said: “We have only one opportunity for the Hope Probe to enter Mars orbit on February 9 at 7:42, UAE time, coinciding with the UAE’s celebrations of its golden jubilee and the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the federation in 1971.”

Eng. Suhail Al Dhafri, Deputy Project Manager for the Probe Development Affairs, said the Probe was reconnected after 27 minutes of the signal being interrupted when it entered the initial orbit of Mars, adding that the engineering team of the Probe undertook the processes of changing its design, as it now has only two solar panels instead of three.

Emirati experts work on the Hope Probe orbiter in Dubai. File

Ali Jumaa Al Suwaidi explained the Probe team relies on the Star Tracker to spot its location, through taking pictures of the stars, analysing them and comparing them with the available database, to find out the location of the Probe.

In August 2020, the Mars Mission team announced the successful completion of TCM1 – its first trajectory correction manoeuvre and a major milestone for the mission.

“TCM1 was a major milestone for us, not only because it is the first time we have deployed the spacecraft’s Delta-V thrusters, but also because it defines our path to cruise Mars,” said EMM Project Director Omran Sharaf. Following the successful launch from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southwestern Japan on July 20, the Mars Hope Probe will make some 7 TCMs in its 493-million-kilometre journey to Mars.

The performance of the launcher and spacecraft during the Launch and Early Operations Phase, LEOPs, has achieved an outstandingly accurate trajectory. “Hope has exceeded our expectations and is now on target to reach its Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, requiring less adjustment to its course than we had originally planned.”

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