UAE’s Mars Hope Probe Reaches Launch Site in Japan

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UAE’s Mars probe has been transferred from Dubai’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre to its launch site on the Tanegashima island in Japan. A video showing the massive 83-hour mission was released by the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The feat was achieved under the supervision of a team of Emirati engineers despite a COVID-19-triggered suspension of international travel.

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The probe, which forms the core of the Emirates Mars Mission, will be launched in July this year. It is expected to reach the red planet in the first quarter of 2021.

Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that the team is still eyeing the July take-off date as per the plan.

He pointed out that the probe was developed in less than six years instead of 10 “and at half the cost”.

The probe will be launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre and its journey is expected to take seven to nine months. Called Al Amal in Arabic, the Hope Probe will become the first to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers.

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It will help answer key questions about the planet’s environment and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases in space. The spacecraft is also expected to collect more than 1,000GB of new data on Mars. This first-of-its-kind data collection will then be stored at a specialised national centre and shared with the global scientific community for free.

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