UAE’s “Hope” probe to orbit Mars, a first for an Arab country
The probe, designed to unlock the secrets of the Martian climate, will be the first of three spacecraft to reach Mars in February.
Besides the Emirates, China and the United States launched devices in July, taking advantage of a time when Earth and Mars are closest.
The orbiting of “Hope” (“Amal” in Arabic, “Hope” in French) around Mars coincides with the 50th anniversary in 2021 of the unification of the seven emirates into the federation of the United Arab Emirates. All the landmarks in the country will be illuminated in red at night.
“Hope” began a 27-minute maneuver at 4:30 PM HB of slowing down enough to be pulled by Martian gravity, the most difficult part of the mission, officials said.
While the probe is designed to provide a full picture of the planet’s weather dynamics, it is also a step towards a much more ambitious goal: the establishment of a human colony on Mars within 100 years.
In addition to consolidating their status as a key regional player, the Emirates want the project to serve as a source of inspiration for Arab youth, in a region that is more often in the news for its devastating conflicts and political crises than for its prowess. scientists.
To mark this historic moment, images of two moons of Mars – Phobos and Deimos – were projected in the sky of Dubai, to make it possible to “see what the probe sees”, according to the office in charge of the media of the emirate. .
Unlike the Chinese Tianwen-1 and American Mars 2020 missions, “Hope” will not land on the Red Planet.
It is due to use three scientific instruments to monitor the Martian atmosphere and is expected to start transmitting information in September, data that scientists around the world will have access to.