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The Launch Date for UAE’s First Mars Orbiter Has Been Announced


It’s official! The UAE’s first Mars orbiter will launch into space on July 15 from Japan’s Tanegashima Island. The probe was delivered safely and successfully to Japan last month despite the travel restrictions caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The challenges overcome by the Hope Probe team amidst the global pandemic confirm the UAE mission’s commitment to achieve the impossible,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and the Emirates Mars Mission Deputy project manager.

The first of its kind in the Arab world, this mission really marks a huge technological and scientific leap for the UAE’s space endeavors.

“It is a mentality that has now been embedded within the current and future generations. This mission embodies the nation’s aspirations, sends a positive message to the world, and demonstrates the importance of carrying on unabated despite barriers and challenges. Our team continues to work diligently to ensure the mission’s success, and we look forward to collectively celebrate the arrival of the probe on Mars in February 2021 – also coinciding with our 50-year anniversary”, continued Al Amiri.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MIH), the company managing the launch, announced that lift-off will take place at 12.51am UAE time on the day.

“Mitsubishi Heavy Industries hereby announces the launch schedule of the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 42 (H-IIA F42) which carries aboard the Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) Hope spacecraft developed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the United Arab Emirates,” a statement from MIH said.

The orbiter, aptly named ‘Hope’ was built by a team of 150 Emirati engineers, scientists and researchers, with support from three American universities. It is expected to take around 7-9 months before it reaches its destination. Once it arrives, its mission is to study and collect data on the upper and lower atmosphere of the Red Planet.

Read next: What Does UAE’s Space Mission Mean for the Arab World?

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