Dubai unveiled the blueprints for the first Arab mission to Mars on Wednesday, with the probe - named "Hope" - set to make the voyage to the Red Planet in 2020.
"This probe represents hope for millions of young Arabs looking for a better future. There is no future, no achievement, no life without hope," HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai said at a ceremony to officially launch the plans for the mission to mars. "The Emirates Mars Mission will be a great contribution to human knowledge, a milestone for Arab civilisation, and a real investment for future generations."
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.
The Emirates Mars Mission is being planned and managed in the UAE by a 100 percent Emirati team.
The team currently comprises 75 Emirati engineers and researchers and will grow to more than 150 by 2020.
"The Emirates Mars Mission is a strategic investment in our human capital and an investment in our human capital is a winning investment. Future generations will reap the rewards of our investment in science and knowledge," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
"We thank everyone who participated and wanted to be part of this great historic project to send the first Arab probe to Mars. Everyone who took part is a partner in this mission," he added.
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