UAE to Launch First Interplanetary Mission to Mars
By: Brianna Zhang
The United Arab Emirates is preparing to launch its first interplanetary mission to Mars in hopes of collecting valuable data on Mars’ atmosphere and weather. Liftoff will take place on July 15 in Japan.
UAE’s Hope satellite will be launching off a Japanese rocket at 5:51 local time in Tanegashima Space Center. The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) aims to uncover new facts about Mars as well as to improve domestic industry and science.
The EMM hopes to actually aid the world in its understanding of Mars, with Sarah Amiri, Hope’s mission deputy project manager and science lead, saying, “One of the primary objectives of the mission from the start was to do science that is relevant to the international community.”
This mission will provide much needed information on Mars’ flow of energy in its atmosphere as well as lofted dust and atom behavior. To gather this, the probe will orbit the planet in an equatorial-like orbit of 22,000 to 44,000 km.
Hope has also greatly improved interest and skill in spacecraft design and manufacturing in the UAE, a country that previously had little experience in such matters. Amiri comments, “This mission created expertise in the country in areas we never had expertise in before.”
Spurred interest in space travel has led to the country starting five undergraduate science-related programs and one graduate program in physics. Since the start of the mission, the University of Sharjah has also seen a doubling of students studying applied physics and astronomy.