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Fri 17 Jul 2020 12:08 PM

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UAE Mars probe launch from Japan rescheduled for July 20

'Hope' - Al-Amal in Arabic - is expected to start orbiting Mars by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE

UAE Mars probe launch from Japan rescheduled for July 20
UAE Mars probe launch from Japan rescheduled for July 20

A Japanese rocket carrying the first Arab mission to Mars will blast into space on Monday, after being delayed by bad weather, the launch company said Friday.

The lift-off of the United Arab Emirates' "Hope" probe, originally planned for Wednesday, is now set for 01:58 am UAE local time from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said.

The UAE is set to be the first Arab nation to send a probe to Mars.

The probe is one of three racing to the Red Planet, with Chinese and US rockets also taking advantage of the Earth and Mars being unusually close: a mere hop of 55 million kilometres (34 million miles).

"Hope" - "Al-Amal" in Arabic - is expected to start orbiting Mars 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 of 687 Earth days.

The goal is to provide a comprehensive image of weather dynamics in the Red Planet's atmosphere.

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