Tanegashima / Abu Dhabi (dpa) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first Arab country to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars.
A rocket developed by H2A and developed in Japan took off from the southern Japanese spaceport on Tanegashima Island on Monday morning (local time), as reported by Japanese rocket operator, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group (MHI ). In February of next year, the probe is expected to reach orbit around the Red Planet after seven months. The mission to Mars is titled “Al-Amal” (hope). The pitcher was actually scheduled for last week, but had to be postponed due to bad weather.
“To date, nearly half of all expeditions to Mars have failed,” mission director Omran Sharaf said. “Of course, that makes such a project particularly ambitious for a young space nation.” The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) was founded in the UAE just 14 years ago. Plans for a dedicated mission to Mars were presented only six years ago.
The goal of the mission is to capture the first complete image of the Martian climate over a complete Martian year. The 1,350-kilogram spacecraft is supposed to observe the atmosphere, weather changes and the change of seasons. For the first time, scientists at more than 200 universities and institutes are expected to be able to observe the Martian atmosphere at any time of the day or season.
The spacecraft travels 450 million kilometers on its journey to Mars and flies through space at approximately 121,000 kilometers per hour. In addition to scientific knowledge, the Mars mission also aims to further advance the economy and education sector of the UAE. The Emirates want to become more independent from oil in the future and are greatly expanding their space program.
In the fall of last year, the Emirates sent their first astronaut to the International Space Station. The Mars mission fundamentally changed the UAE’s capabilities in space systems technology, science and research, mission chief Sharaf said. The probe is expected to reach orbit of Mars in 2021 – the year the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The head of mission previously thanked Japan for its support. The order from the United Arab Emirates for a launch with the H2A launcher developed by the Japanese industrial group Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the fourth order that high technology from the Far East has been able to bring in from abroad. The Japanese H2A rocket has successfully taken off 36 times in a row. There is fierce competition for the spacecraft industry. Japan wants to get involved.
Besides the Emirates, other countries have planned a mission to Mars in the coming weeks, as the planet is particularly close to Earth during this time. NASA wants to send a new rover to Mars to collect rock and soil samples. And China also wants to launch an unmanned mission to Mars for the first time.