At 1.58 GST this morning, the Hope Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center, at the start of a seven-month journey to Mars. This is the UAE’s first mission to Mars.
The Hope Probe’s purpose while there is to better understand the Martian atmosphere, weather patterns plus daily and seasonal changes (summer on Mars, anyone?).
Delayed since July 14 due to bad weather, the rocket took off on what is the first step in the UAE’s plan to establish a settlement on Mars by 2117.
The United Arab Emirates’ @HopeMarsMission, the first Arab mission to Mars, blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center https://t.co/SYC5Stfcxn pic.twitter.com/LWsn8e7ez6— Reuters (@Reuters) July 20, 2020
First announced in 2014, the plan for a mission to Mars compliments Hazza Al Mansouri’s trip to the International Space Station towards the end of 2019.
The first Emirati in space, Al Mansouri became a national hero when he took off with Russian cosmonauts and spent a week in space, conducting experiments on the human body.
Over the course of the next seven months, the craft will be monitored at the Mohmmed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai, on its way to Mars.
Travelling at an average speed of 121,000km/h, the Hope Probe will cover nearly 500 million kilometers on its journey to the red planet. Although it took off with fuel on board, it will be powered in part by solar panels which deployed after launch.
Once it reaches Mars, the Hope Probe’s mission will last approximately two years.