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Sheikh Mohammed released a series of tweets on the Hope Probe preparations. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: With the UAE only two weeks away from another landmark space mission, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reviewed the final preparations of the Mars Hope Probe and said it brings a message of hope to every Arab and optimism to mankind.

Hope Probe (Al Amal in Arabic) will begin its historic space journey to the Red Planet with a lift-off on July 15 from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC).

Sheikh Mohammed met the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) team, together with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), as the countdown began for the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “The Hope Probe embodies the culture of possibilities deeply rooted in the UAE’s approach, philosophy and journey of accelerating development since the foundation.”

“Our journey to space represents a message of hope to every Arab citizen that we have the innovation, resilience and efforts to compete with the greatest of nations in the race for knowledge.”

“Hope Probe is an accomplishment for every Arab, a source of pride for every Emirati and a path-breaking achievement for our engineers,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed also underlined: “The UAE will continue deploying its efforts and resources and collaborating with nations to build a better future for humanity.”

Pre-launch preparations

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the final pre-launch preparations by Omran Sharaf, EMM project director, who explained the different tasks assigned to the team leading testing operations.

He said the mission control team in Dubai is coordinating efforts from the MBRSC with the launch team in Japan who will soon be joined by Emirati engineers and experts to manage and oversee the launch.

Sheikh Hamdan commented: “Hope Probe highlights our national treasure of hundreds of young Emirati engineers and experts working on the mission. These young people are part of drafting a beautiful chapter in the UAE’s future.”

He added: “Despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we remained committed to our plans to meet the launch schedule of the historic space mission, in efforts that have truly reflected the UAE’s slogan that the impossible is possible.”

“Hope Probe represents a message of hope and optimism to mankind. Our space mission is aimed at serving humanity,” he underlined.

Mars mission

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, coinciding with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebrations, marking the historic union of the emirates in 1971.

The mission of Hope Probe is to provide a complete picture about the atmosphere in Mars and how it varies throughout the day and all through the year.

Hope Probe will have three types of sensors for measuring the complex make-up of Mars’ atmosphere. One is a high-resolution multiband camera for measuring the planet’s dust and ozone layer; another is an infrared spectrometer (a measuring device that collects light waves) for measuring the lower atmosphere of Mars. And the third is an ultraviolet spectrometer for measuring oxygen and hydrogen levels.

The sensors will track the behaviour and escape of hydrogen and oxygen and investigate how the lower and upper levels of the atmosphere of Mars are connected.

The scheduled launch date of the Hope Probe is based on the opening of the launch window for the Emirates Mars Mission, which extends until August 13 this year.