Scientists working on the Hope Probe
Scientists working on the Hope Probe Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Hope Probe has been encapsulated inside the launch vehicle payload of the H-IIA rocket that will carry it to Mars, the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) announced on Tuesday.

“The encapsulation and mounting of the capsule onto the rocket are key milestones in preparation of this mission and countdown to the launch,” said Omar Al Shehhi, Launch Team Lead.

Hope Probe is scheduled for launch from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre at 00:51.27 (UAE time) on July 15.

“Before the Probe was placed inside the capsule, it was covered with thermal sheets to protect it against the dynamic temperature, pressure variations and environment during its cruise. The encapsulation process was overseen by a team of Emirati engineers on-ground in Japan, along with their Japanese counterparts,” the EMM said in a statement.

After the encapsulation, the next step would be to charge the batteries of Hope Probe and set it for take off. There will also be continuous functional tests of the spacecraft subsystems, along with electrical power, communication, altitude control, command and control, propulsion, thermal control and software systems.

EMM said the encapsulated Probe has been transferred to another building where the rocket [first and the second stage] and the launch pad are located.

“The mounting of the spacecraft onto the rocket involved a thorough monitoring of the interface points, ensuring that all was in order. Subsequently, the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) and the arming plugs were firmly sealed,” EMM added.

The team will continue to monitor and test until the final countdown, which begins 16 hours before the scheduled liftoff.