The UAE is awaiting the arrival of the first Arab exploration flight of its kind to the orbit of Mars, on Tuesday, known as the “Hope” probe, and it is the first of three missions to reach the Red Planet this month.
The UAE, China and the United States launched missions to Mars last July, taking advantage of a space positioning conducive to sending a new batch of search mechanisms into orbit or to the surface of the most interesting planet in the solar system.
The probe should rotate to the extent that it is inserted into the capture orbit, and the fuel-burning process using six reverse-propulsion engines (Delta V) continues for 27 minutes to automatically reduce its speed from 121,000 km to 18,000 km / h.
In the event that the probe reaches its right destination, the UAE, which this year celebrates its fiftieth birthday, will become the fifth country in the world to reach Mars, while China will become the sixth the next day.
The 27-minute process will start today, Tuesday, at 15:30 GMT, which is 19:30 local time.
The complex process consumes half of the fuel in the probe, and it will take 11 minutes for a signal from the “Hope” probe to reach Earth.
The Chairman of the Emirates Space Agency and the Minister of State for Advanced Technology, Sarah Al-Amiri, wrote this week in a tweet, “27 blind minutes determine the fate of 7 years of work.”
The probe uses three scientific methods to monitor the Martian atmosphere and is expected to begin sending information to Earth in September 2021.
The “Probe of Hope” successfully completed the navigation stage in space, several days ago, which is the third stage in its historic journey to explore Mars.
The space navigation phase is the longest stage of the first space mission led by the UAE to explore the planets, which takes 7 months.
A glimmer of hope for Arab youth
The Emirates Space Agency today organized a special scientific seminar on the Internet with the participation of the Egyptian Space Agency, to discuss the prospects for Arab cooperation, hours before the entry of the Hope probe into the orbit of Mars, in addition to researching the effects of this historical mission and its implications on the scientific level, and the exchange of experiences, according to the agency Emirates News.
The director of the Emirates Mars Exploration Project, Imran Sharaf, said that this project means a lot to the country, the region, and the global science and space community, according to the French agency.
Sharaf emphasized that it is not a matter of getting to Mars, it is a tool for a much larger goal. The government wanted to see a major shift in the mindset of Emirati youth, to accelerate the creation of an advanced science and technology sector in the Emirates.
The Prime Minister, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, confirmed earlier in a tweet that “the expected success rate to enter the orbit of Mars is 50%, but we have achieved 90% of our goals to build our cadres and knowledge.”
The mission aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the weather dynamics in the planet’s atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs. The probe is part of a larger goal of building a human settlement on Mars within a hundred years.
It is the first mission of its kind in the Arab world and was designed as a source of inspiration for the younger generation.
The Director-General of the Emirates Space Agency, Mohammed Nasser Al-Ahbabi, said that the UAE project to explore Mars went through great challenges, 7 years ago, and the last of these challenges was the Corona pandemic, the conditions for moving the probe to Japan, and then the launch of the probe to Mars, which were not easy conditions, but The sons of the Emirates, with the support of the wise leadership, were able to overcome all these challenges, according to the Emirates News Agency.
Only the United States, India, the former Soviet Union, and the European Space Agency have successfully sent missions into the orbit of the Red Planet.
And unlike the other two Mars projects, the Chinese “Taeunwin-1” and the American “Mars 2020”, the Emirati probe will not land on the Red Planet, but rather, it will orbit around it for a full Martian year, equivalent to 687 days.