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Home » World » United Arab Emirates launches its first spacecraft bound for Mars

United Arab Emirates launches its first spacecraft bound for Mars

The UAE government conceived of this project in 2014 to inspire young Emirati teens, and as a bold way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s founding in December 2021.

By Newsd
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On Monday, the United Arab Emirates’ first interplanetary mission successfully took off from the southern tip of Japan, sending up a car-sized probe bound for the planet Mars. The launch marks the beginning of the country’s most ambitious space project yet, aimed at studying the weather on Mars as it evolves throughout the planet’s year.

The lift-off of the Mars orbiter named Amal, or Hope, from Japan marked the start of a rush to fly to Earth’s neighbour that includes attempts by China and the United States.

The UAE said its Amal was functioning after launch as it heads toward Mars.

Omran Sharaf, the project director of Emirates Mars Mission, told journalists in Dubai about an hour and a half after the lift-off that the probe was sending signals. Sharaf said his team now would examine the data, but everything appeared good for now.

The probe will now spend the next seven months traveling through deep space, periodically correcting its course with a series of engine burns. Then sometime in February of 2021, it’ll attempt to put itself into an elongated orbit around Mars, where it will analyse the atmosphere and climate throughout the course of each Martian day.

The UAE government conceived of this project in 2014 to inspire young Emirati teens, and as a bold way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the nation’s founding in December 2021.

To ensure that Hope is in orbit by the anniversary, the team behind the spacecraft had to launch this summer, during a small window when Earth and Mars come closest together during their orbits around the Sun. This planetary alignment happens once every 26 months, so the UAE team had to launch this year to meet the 2021 deadline.

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