Emirates launch first space mission to Mars

Tanegashima/Abu Dhabi The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the first Arab nation to successfully send a spacecraft towards Mars. A Japanese-made H2A rocket took off from the southern Japanese spaceport on Tanegashima Island on Monday morning (local time), as the Japanese TV broadcaster NHK reported.

In February 2021, the probe is scheduled to reach orbit around the Red Planet after seven months. The Mars mission is entitled “Al-Amal” (hope). The launch vehicle had actually been scheduled for last week, but had to be postponed due to bad weather.

The goal of the mission is to capture the first complete picture of the Martian climate over a complete Martian year. The 1350 kilogram spacecraft is supposed to observe the atmosphere, weather changes and the changing of the seasons.

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 should have the opportunity to observe the Martian atmosphere at any time of the day or season.

On its journey to Mars, the spacecraft travels 450 million kilometers and flies at about 121,000 kilometers per hour. In addition to scientific knowledge, the Mars mission should also advance the UAE’s economy and education sector. The Emirates want to become more independent of oil in the future and are strongly 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 the 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 business. Japan wants to get involved.

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