Wednesday, 04 August 2021 05:27 GMT

UAE's Hope Probe will be first of 3 missions to arrive at Mars this month: CNN


(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 3rd February, 2021 (WAM) -- CNN has reported that the United Arab Emirates' first mission to Mars is almost ready for a rendezvous with the red planet.

In its report the Atlanta-based television channel said that the Emirates Mars Mission, known as the Hope Probe, will go into orbit around Mars on February 9. The mission was one of three that launched to Mars from Earth in July, including NASA's Perseverance rover and China's Tianwen-1 mission. Hope will orbit the planet, Tianwen-1 will orbit the planet and land on it and Perseverance will land on Mars.

The report also indicated that all three missions are launched around the same time due to an alignment between Mars and the Earth on the same side of the sun, making for a more efficient journey to Mars.

The Hope Probe will be the first of these missions to arrive at Mars. Ashley Strickland, CNN' space and science writer, said that the UAE Space Agency will share live coverage of Hope's arrival on February 9 beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET on its website.

When the spacecraft arrives, the Hope Probe will mark the UAE as only the fifth country in history to reach the red planet. The ambitions of the mission don't stop there.

The probe, along with its three scientific instruments, is expected to create the first complete portrait of the Martian atmosphere. The instruments will collect different data points on the atmosphere to also gauge seasonal and daily changes.

This information will provide scientists with an idea of what climate dynamics and weather are like in different layers of the Martian atmosphere. Together, this will shed light on how energy and particles, like oxygen and hydrogen, are moved through the atmosphere and how they even escape Mars.

"We've learned from past missions that the loss of the atmosphere over time over Martian history is important," said David Brain, deputy principal investigator for MAVEN orbiter, or the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, at the University of Colorado Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

"We need to do more to quantify that loss and to understand how the rest of the atmosphere influences that loss from a global perspective."

Ramping up for the mission's arrival at Mars has been an emotional roller coaster, said Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences and chairperson at the UAE Space Agency.

"Every point of celebration is followed by several points of worry waiting for the next points of celebration," she said.

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