After the first astronaut in space, now a probe on the red planet: after two delays due to bad weather, the United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars has begun.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first Arab country to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars. A Japanese-developed H2A launcher has taken off from the southern Japanese spaceport on Tanegashima Island, Japanese television channel NHK reported. In February 2021, 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.
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, among other things. The researchers also want to use the results to investigate why the water on Mars has disappeared. For the first time, researchers 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.
450 million kilometers to Mars
On its journey to Mars, the spacecraft travels 450 million kilometers and flies 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 head of the mission, Omran Sharaf, previously thanked Japan for its support. The order from the United Arab Emirates to launch the H2A rocket developed by the Japanese industrial group Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is the fourth that Asian high-tech has been able to bring in from abroad. There is fierce competition for the spacecraft industry. Japan wants to get involved.