UAE plans to launch Mars probe Friday after weather delay

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 18, 2020

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) 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.

Keiji Suzuki from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is carrying the Hope probe into space, said that with thunderstorms forecast there was doubt over whether the launch would take place on schedule.

The drive to explore Mars flagged until the confirmation less than 10 years ago that water once flowed on its surface.

In 2017, UAE launched a National Space Programme to develop expertise in space science among its citizens. UAE says it will provide a complete view of the Martian atmosphere during different seasons for the first time.

The UAE space program, established in 2006, has previously built several Earth observation satellites with South Korean assistance and has sent an Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station aboard a Russian rocket.

UAE's first-ever space mission has goals touching beyond the sky, literally.

If all goes based on plan, Hope will spend an entire Martian year in orbit, or 687 days, analyzing hydrogen and oxygen levels.

"The intent was not to put a message or declaration to the world", Sarah Al Amiri, chair of the UAE Council of Scientists and deputy project manager for the Emirates Mars Mission, told CNET in March.

Hope, the next milestone in their space dreams, is expected to start orbiting Mars by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE. The first is an infrared spectrometer to measure the lower atmosphere and analyse the temperature structure. There's a high-resolution camera known as the Emirates eXploration Imager, a UV imager known as the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer, and a scanning infrared imager dubbed the Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer.

The Arab space agency has a long launch window that opened up today, 14 July and will stay open till 12 August 2020.

"What that basically means is that I provided the link between the engineering and the science, so I looked at the instrument's capabilities and performance and tried to understand how they would meet the mission's science goals". "A better understanding of what happened to Mars, will help us better understand the changes happening on Earth".

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