Sheikh Mohammed Reviews The Final preparations of Hope Probe Mars Mission
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reviewed the final preparations of the Hope Probe, scheduled to launch to Mars on 15 July.
The meeting was chaired by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), as the countdown begins for the UAE’s much-anticipated historic launch to the Red Planet and the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
The Emirates Mars Mission seeks to establish the UAE’s entry to the global space industry, advance the country’s capabilities in space science and engineering and develop young Emirati and Arab talents capable of contributing to international space exploration efforts.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “The Hope Probe embodies the culture of possibilities deeply rooted in the UAE’s approach, philosophy and journey of accelerating development.”
He added: “Our journey to space represents a message of hope to every Arab citizen that we have the innovation and resilience to compete with the greatest of nations in the quest for knowledge.”
“The Hope Probe is an accomplishment for every Arab, a source of pride for every Emirati, and a path-breaking achievement for our engineers.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid further said: “The UAE will continue deploying its efforts and resources and collaborating with nations to build a better future for humanity.”
His Highness met the Emirates Mars Mission team as the country prepares for the probe’s launch from Tanegashima island in Japan, which is on schedule despite challenges posed by the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
During the meeting, he was briefed on the final pre-launch preparations by Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission, who explained the different tasks assigned to the team leading the testing operations. The Dubai-based space mission’s control team is leading MBRSC’s coordination with the launch team in Japan, which will soon be joined by Emirati engineers and experts to manage and oversee the launch.
The meeting was also attended by HE Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; HE Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; HE Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MBRSC; ;and HE Saeed Al Eter, Director General of The Executive Office of Dubai.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “The Hope Probe highlights our national treasure of hundreds of young Emirati engineers and experts working on the mission. These young people are part of drafting a beautiful chapter in the UAE’s future.”
“Despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we remained committed to our plans to meet the launch schedule of the historic space mission. These efforts truly reflect the UAE’s slogan that the impossible is possible. The Hope Probe represents a message of hope and optimism to mankind. Our space mission is aimed at serving humanity,” he further said.
The Hope Probe’s launch date of July 15, 2020 was set based on a careful scientific review of the earth and Mars orbits, with the launch window extending to August 13, 2020.
The journey of transferring the Hope Probe from Dubai to the launch site in Tanegashima Island in Japan, which remained on track despite COVID-19 complications, spanned more than 83 hours and underwent three major stages.
The lift-off is scheduled on Wednesday 15 July 2020 at 00:51:27 UAE time from the Tanegashima Space Centre. The unmanned probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit on February 2021, marking the UAE’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
The Hope Probe is currently undergoing extensive testing operations at the launch station in Japan. A team of specialised young Emirati engineers are currently supervising the probe’s pre-launch preparations.
The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe, considered the UAE’s biggest strategic and scientific national initiative, was announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2014. The space mission aims to build a space industry in the UAE as part of the country’s vision to invest in future knowledge-based economies. The UAE Space Agency is funding and supervising necessary details for implementation, while the MBRSC is responsible for the execution and supervision of all stages of the design, development and launch of the Hope Probe.
The probe will provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers. It will gather scientific data on the Martian atmosphere and share it freely with scientific and academic partners around the world. The data will give deeper insights into the past and future of our own planet and the potential of life for humans on Mars and on other distant planets. Three advanced science instruments mounted on the probe will capture complete data from Mars.
The Emirates Mars Mission will study why Mars is losing its upper atmosphere and explore the connection between lower and upper layers of the atmosphere. It will also be the first probe to study climate throughout daily and seasonal cycles, observing weather phenomena such as dust storms, changes in temperature, and changes in the Martian atmosphere patterns depending on topography. The probe will reveal the causes of Martian surface corrosion.
The historic mission will coordinate with the global Mars science community to answer key questions that no other mission has previously addressed.