The UAE Red planet Mission is the foremost interplanetary operation that will finally reach orbits, and soon explore the climatic conditions on the Red planet. With this hard mission to Mars, possibly UAE will become the fifth entity to reach Mars successfully after NASA, Russia, the European Space Agency, and India. In this unmanned mission, the United States of Arab emirates launched the Hope probe to make their mission to Mars a successful one. The satellite was launched on Monday 20th, July 2020. Previously the probe was planned to launch, on July 14, but due to certain weather conditions, the plan was postponed. The Hope Probe finally launched for a 7-month journey from Japan’s Tane Ashima Space Centre at 6:58 am Japanese time on Monday (21:58 GMT on Sunday).
Emirates started its Mars plan in 2014, and to make the program accomplished, it launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop some general expertise. But at that time, UAE works mostly with foreign workers and has not much scientific and industrial base. The country has a grand plan for Mars by 2117.
To make the Al-Amal project flourishing one, last year in September, emirates connected with the University of Colorado Boulder to develop their spacecraft. To develop, and build the red planet mission Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre worked in teamwork with United States educational institutions.
Distance covered and other data by Hope Probe
The first mission to Mars is now on a 500-million-km journey to give weather details of the red planet. Hope Probe is going to make a long journey of seven months to Mars covering, about 493,500,000 km, according to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).
The UAE, made up of seven emirates, is set to be the first to send a probe to Mars. Well, UAE is not only the country that has scheduled this huge launch in 2020. This year, two more ventures have scheduled the launch of their satellites for the Mars mission. But the huge dissimilarity is that Emirates probe will not land on Mars but will track it for an entire Martian year that is something like 687 days of earth.
As we know that Mars planet rotates on its rotational axis, completing its rotation every 24.6 hours. The Martian year consists of 669.6 Sols.
The 669.6 sols on Mars is equivalent to two-year earth time. The probe launched by the UAE uses these 2 years’ time to explore various operations of the Mars planet.
UAE Mars Mission-Growing their expertise
As we know that the UAE has inadequate knowledge of designing spacecraft – and they have this time planned something that yet only the US, Russia, Europe, and India have accomplished in doing. But with the step, they have accepted the challenged and produced a difficult research probe for their satellite mission to Mars. The main agenda, behind this program, is to deliver knowledge about the planet’s atmosphere.
With this step, the UAE has proved that they are growing their space center, as Hope Probe is the first step in its growing space sector. Before this satellite, the country has launched satellites with some South Korean partners in 2009 and 2013. The crucial mission of the country is to create a group of ambitious people for its space agency and set grand targets for settlement on the Martian surface by 2117.
In simpler words, we can say that this is so far a remarkable achievement for the UAE country. Because most of Mars missions take more than a decade time to develop but to develop this probe, UAE scientists completed it in six years.
The technology or instruments used to gather information on Mars
Well, the expert scientists have integrated three technologies, in the hope probe to collect information. Let us have a look at each of them one by one:
- To measure the amount of dust, water content, temperature, and clouds data an Infrared Spectrometer is used in it. It will convey all the Martian atmosphere details.
- Hope also has an Exploration Imager camera that can take high-quality pictures of the Martian atmosphere in different bands and ultraviolet bands.
- The Ultraviolet Spectrometer detects the changes in the thermosphere; around the Red planet; and checks the emissions of oxygen, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen in the Mars atmosphere.
Hope probe mission to learn dynamics of the red planet
Hope Probe also, is known as Al-Amal in Arabic, will study weather systems of the Red Planet for the first time and that too for complete for one Martian year. Hope Probe is accepted to gather over 1,000 GB of new data that will be used by academic and scientific institutions around the globe for free. The study helps to reveal the weather of the Red Planet as some shreds of evidence suggests that Mars was a humid place with lots of water content on it. This climate shows that Mars could have been best for some forms of life.
Minds behind the Hope Probe
Well, the Hope Probe took almost six years to complete and was built by a group of expert 150 Emirati engineers along with some American scientists and engineers. The work was done at the University of California Berkeley, University of Colorado, and Arizona State University. The entire satellite project cost approximately $200 million, which is much less than compared to other similar projects with the same programs. The MBRSC has been accountable for the implementation and management of all stages of the development and initiate of the spaceship while the UAE Space Agency is giving continuous financial support and handling all procedures.
In a nutshell, it will be interesting to witness the details; UAE will share once the project gets accomplished. Moreover, there are two more satellite programs in the pipeline, and all these projects expand our understanding related to the red planet. It is not easy to launch such a huge mission, but projects like this help us to understand the remarkable similarity between this planet and earth and every time gives us a unique prospect to learn something new.