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Tue 25 Aug 2020 10:21 AM

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UAE's Hope Probe expected to reach Mars in early 2021

Probe has so far travelled 20 percent of its 493 million km journey to the Red Planet

UAE's Hope Probe expected to reach Mars in early 2021

The UAE’s Hope Probe, the Arab world’s first mission to another planet, has travelled one fifth of its journey to Mars, just a month after its historic lift-off from Japan.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, shared two images from the Hope Probe’s star-tracking camera and tweeted: "The Hope Probe is officially 100 million km into its journey to the Red Planet. Mars, as demonstrated in the image captured by the Probe’s Star Tracker, is ahead of us, leaving Saturn and Jupiter behind. The Hope Probe is expected to arrive to Mars in February 2021.

"In less than 170 days, we will celebrate the probe’s entry into the Red Planet’s orbit. It will be a path-breaking achievement in the history of global Mars missions."

He said that the Emirates Mars Mission will “create a giant leap in the country’s space technologies and open new horizons towards other space missions”.

He added: "The next phase requires investments in science for the benefit of mankind. We need young people to lead us towards further scientific breakthroughs."

The Hope Probe has so far travelled 20 percent of its 493-million-kilometre journey to the Red Planet since its successful lift-off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre on July 20.

The 100-million km milestone comes after the probe’s successful completion of its first trajectory correction manoeuvre (TCM) that marked the firing of its six Delta-V thrusters. The probe will perform a number of further trajectory control manoeuvres, to reach its scheduled Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) in less than 170 days on February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Currently travelling at a speed ranging between 110,400 km/h to 122,400km/h, the Hope Probe has already travelled the equivalent of 130 trips from the earth to the moon.

The Hope Probe will provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere as it orbits the Red Planet throughout one full Martian year of 687 days.

The Emirates Mars Mission team, which includes 200 Emirati engineers and specialists, had built the orbiter in six years, at half the duration and cost of conventional missions. The Mars mission is part of the UAE’s contribution to global space exploration efforts and adds a new dimension to human knowledge.

So far, the mission has attracted 60,000 students to join its diverse educational programmes, developed 200 new technologies and helped publish 51 research papers and build 66 parts of the probe in the UAE.

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