It has been reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will make history by becoming the first Arab nation to send an interplanetary mission to Mars on Wednesday.
According to the details, the rocket carrying the unmanned spacecraft is due to take off from remote Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 05:51 am local time.
The project initiated by the United Arab Emirates is one of three missions to Mars, including Tianwen-1 from China and Mars 2020 from the United States of America (USA), taking advantage of the period when both planets Earth and Mars are nearest: a mere 55 million kilometers apart.
But unlike the US and China’s missions, the Mars probe by the Arab nation will not land on the Red planet.
“Hope” is expected to reach the orbit of Mars by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of the seven Sheikhdoms. Once the mission reached the Mars orbit, it will loop the planet for a whole Martian year—687 days.
The Deputy Project Manager of the UAE’s Mars Mission Sarah-Al-Amiri said that the probe is expected to detach from the launch rocket about an hour after the launch, which is when the real excitement will begin.
Sarah-Al-Amiri, who is also UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Sciences said that she is looking forward to the initial 24 hours after the separation, adding that that’s where they see the results of their work.
“It is the time when we first get the signal when we know that every part of the spacecraft is perfectly functioning when the solar panels are deployed when we hit our trajectory and are headed towards Mars,” she told media earlier this month.