FP TrendingJun 10, 2020 09:59:45 IST
The first space mission to Mars from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is preparing for its imminent liftoff, with plans for fuelling begin next week. The mission will take seven months to make the 493 million-kilometre journey to Mars, where it will function as an orbiter to collect scientific data on the Red Planet.
The mission, called Amal ("Hope" in Arabic), will send back data about the Red Planet's climate and atmosphere, BBC reported. The probe is designed to stay in Mars' orbit for 687 days – roughly one Martian year.
The program's science lead Sarah Al-Amiri, in a briefing on Monday said that the project should be a major incentive for young Arab scientists to take up a career in space engineering.
“We are studying a planet that looks as if it was very similar to our own, but has undergone some form of change to the point it can no longer have water, one of the major building blocks of life,” Sarah al-Amiri said.
A report in The Guardian mentions that the mission has been in preparation by the UAE since 2014.
Omran Sharaf, project manager of the Amal mission, said that the mission is integral to the country's long-term economic development. He added, "It is about the future of the UAE and our survival."
Since UAE does not have a launch pad to support the mission, the space agency will use rocket shipped from Japan, a report by Tech Times cites. The fueling of the spacecraft that will travel to Mars will commence its operations, which begins next week.
The robotic craft is scheduled for launch from the Japanese island of Tanegashima on 14 July 2020, according to The Armenian Reporter.
The Hope Mars mission is expected to reach the red planet by February 2021.
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