The United Arab Emirates will have to wait a little longer to make history with its first interplanetary mission to Mars. On Wednesday, weather conditions forced the UAE space agency and space center Mohammed bin Rashid to postpone their departure to Hope, a car size that would study the Martian atmosphere.
Hope was scheduled to be launched on Friday, July 17 from Tanegashima, a Japanese island in the North Pacific, within a Mitsubishi H-IIA booster. The mission team tweeted on Wednesday that the launch will take place later this month, but did not specify a date. Japan has seen heavy rain and floods over the past week.
How to watch the Hope probe launch to Mars
The probe will be launched on a Mitsubishi H-IIA booster. The rocket is not as famous as it is, but it has a great launch history, with over 40 successful launches under its belt, mostly by Japanese satellite systems.
Once we have a date, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center will carry a livestream from the launch from Japan, which you can watch via this link.
A big hope
Hope is the first interplanetary mission led by an Arab, Muslim-majority country and, if successful, will add another nation to the list of Martian explorers.
“The intention was not to send a message or explanation to the world,” Sarah Al Amiri, chairwoman of the UAE Research Council and assistant project manager for the Emirates Mars Mission, told CNET in March. “It was more of an internal reinforcement of what the United Arab Emirates is all about.” The historic launch is planned to be live-streamed worldwide.
The satellite will study the connections between Mars’ lower and upper atmospheres and investigate what causes the loss of hydrogen and oxygen in space. It will collect data for two years after reaching its orbit around Mars in February 2021. There is an option to extend the mission to 2025.
Board jumps are three instruments that enable the probe to study the Martian atmosphere more intensively. There is a high resolution camera known as the Emirates eXploration Imager, a UV imager known as the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer and a scanning infrared imager called the Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer.