Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has approved the final designs of the UAE's Mars Hope probe which is scheduled to reach the Red Planet in 2021.
Sheikh Mohammed gave the green light to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes, the Arab world’s first Mars probe, saying: “UAE ambitions is to explore the outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars. Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for UAE’s scientific efforts, it the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard”.
The approval came as Sheikh Mohammed inaugurated a new satellite manufacturing facility at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai.
In a series of tweets, he hailed the 100 percent Emirati engineering team at the Space Center, 40 percent of which are women, describing them as "the pride of UAE".
Signaling the beginning of manufacturing process, Sheikh Mohammed installed the first part of KhalifaSat, the first Arab satellite which is being built purely by Emirati engineering and expertise in the UAE. KhalifaSat is set to launch in 2018.
Last year, Dubai unveiled the blueprints for the first Arab mission to Mars.
The Hope probe is schedule to leave Earth in 2020 and aims to produce entirely new types of data that will enable scientists to build the first truly holistic models of the Martian atmosphere.
The probe will be the first to study changes in the Martian atmosphere throughout its daily and seasonal cycles.
Hope will be a compact spacecraft the size and weight of a small car. It will blast off in a launcher rocket, then detach and accelerate into deep space.
It will reach a speed of 126,000 kilometres per hour for the 600 million km journey around the sun to Mars, which will take around 200 days.
The probe will orbit the Red Planet until at least 2023, with an option to extend the mission until 2025. It will send back more than 1000 GB of data to be analysed by teams of researchers in the UAE, and shared freely with more than 200 institutions worldwide for the benefit of thousands of space specialists.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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