By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The probe will launch from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre at 1.58am on July 20
UAE residents hoping to watch the live stream of the launch of the ‘Hope Probe’ to Mars will be able to stream it online.
The probe will launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre at exactly 1.58am UAE time on July 20.
The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is the culmination of six years of work by a large team of primarily young Emirati cadres, including 200 engineers, experts and researchers.
Over the course of seven months, the probe – which is designed to orbit the Red Planet and study its atmosphere – will travel 493.5 million kilometres.
It is expected to reach march in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations marking the creation of the union in 1971.
The Probe will travel 493.5 million km over seven months to reach Mars’ orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations to mark the historic union of the Emirates.
At tonight’s launch, rocket boosters will be jettisoned as the rocket accelerates away from earth into orbit.
Once in orbit, plans call for the probe to stay in earth’s orbit until is it aligned with Mars, at which time it will be reignited to push it on a trajectory that will allow it to deploy the Hope Probe.
Once deployed, the Hope Probe will be ‘awakened’ and deploy solar energy panels and sun sensors that will allow it to charge and transmit to earth, with the NASA Deep Space Network ground station in Madrid ready to pick up the signal.
As radio signals from Mars will take 13 to 26 minutes to reach earth, the probe will operate completely autonomously with no intervention from ground teams.
The probe’s scientific projects will then be carried out over a span of several months as it orbits the Red Planet.