Dubai: With only 15 days to go before the UAE’s Mars Hope Probe begins its historic space journey to the Red Planet, the Dubai Media Office took to Twitter on Tuesday to show the first photos of the rocket that will launch the Probe to Mars.
Hope Probe (Al Amal in Arabic) will be carried aboard Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) H-IIA (launch vehicle No. 42) rocket and will lift off on July 15 at exactly 12:51:27AM (UAE time) from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC).
The rocket was being prepared for launch and initial photos showed the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) and the new Nation brand logo were prominently displayed on the rocket.
According to reports, the H-IIA rocket spacecraft is equipped with star tracker sensors that will help determine its position in space by identifying the constellations in relation to the Sun.
Six 120-Newton thrusters will control the speed of the probe, and eight 5-Newton Reaction control system (RCS) thrusters will be responsible for the delicate maneuvering.
The main structure of Hope Probe is cubical made out of aluminum with a composite face-sheet. It measures 2.37 metres wide, 2.9 metre long, and weighs approximately 1,500 kilograms when fully fueled.
It will have three types of sensors that will be used to measure the complex make-up of Mars’s atmosphere.
Earlier, EMM tweeted pictures of Hope Probe EXI or Emirates Exploration Image, the instrument that will study the lower atmosphere of Mars and measure the optical depth of water ice in the atmosphere as well as the abundance of ozone. EXI will also capture high-resolution images of the Red Planet and send back to earth pictures of Mars during dust storms.
Hope Probe will take a 495-million kilometre journey to reach and orbit Mars and is anticipated to enter Mars’ orbit, after around 200 days, in February next year, oinciding with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebrations, marking the historic union of the emirates in 1971.