The United Arab Emirates is preparing its first space exploration to Mars. The lift-off is scheduled in approximately one month and fuelling is due to begin next week.
Baptised Amal, which means Hope, will lift off from a remote Japanese island, Tanegashima on 14 July.
According to experts, the probe is expected to take around seven months of travel to reach Mars. Afterward, it will begin its orbit and will gather and send back new data about its climate and atmosphere.
It is said a single orbit around the Red Planet will take the probe 55 hours be orbiting for an entire Martian year which is equivalent to our 687 days.
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On Monday, programme director Sarah Al-Amiri explained that this project is seen as a significant incentive for young Arab scientists who chose a career in space engineering.
As a reminder, the robotic jewel was built in the UAE and then transported to Tanegashima island of Japan. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all its engineers had to go into an immediate quarantine that caused a delay in the launch.
More about the spacecraft
Powered by a Japanese rocket, the robotic craft is said to carry three types of sensors to measure the complex make-up of Mars’s atmosphere. The first one: a high-resolution multiband camera to record the planet’s dust as well as ozone.
Second sensor: an infrared spectrometer to measure the upper atmosphere as well as the lower one, developed by Arizona State University.
The third sensor: an ultraviolet spectrometer to measure oxygen and hydrogen levels. one of main aim of the research will be regarding these two elements which are essential for water and the finding of answers on why they are escaping from the planet.
Sir Ian Blatchford, director of the UK’s Science Museum Group, also highlighted that “a lot of missions have focused on geology, but this will provide the most comprehensive, holistic picture of Mars’s climate”.
Did u know? The first Arab astronaut to go into space was Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Bin Salman Al-Saud, in 1985.