By Bernd Debusmann Jr
UAE Mars mission has a launch window that lasts through August 13
The launch of the UAE Hope Probe is likely to fall between July 20 and 22 as a result of inclement weather at Japan’s Tenagashima Island, the UAE Space Agency and MBRSpaceCentre have announced.
The Hope Probe was originally slated to launch on Tuesday, July 14, but was postponed as a result of weather conditions.
.@UAESpaceAgency and @MBRSpaceCentre announce persistent thunderstorms and continued unstable weather conditions over the coming days at Tanegashima Island in Japan, the launch site of the Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe.— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) July 16, 2020
On Friday, July 17, officials announced another weather-related delay.
The mission has a launch window that lasts through August 13. UAE authorities had repeatedly said that weather-related postponements are a possibility.
The Emirati project is one of three racing to Mars, including Tianwen-1 from China and Mars 2020 from the United States, taking advantage of the period when the Earth and Mars are nearest: some 55 million kilometres (34 million miles) apart.
The UAE is set to be the first Arab nation to send a probe to Mars.
"Hope" - or Al-Amal in Arabic - is expected to reach Mars's orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE.
Once there, it will loop the planet for a whole Martian year - 687 days.
The objective of the UAE Mars mission is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in the Red Planet's atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs.