The launch is scheduled on July 15, 2020 at 12:51 am (UAE time)
Dubai: When I write this, it is only 19 hours for UAE to witness its ever big space programme – the Mars mission. In the meantime, UAE’s Hope Probe will touch the red planet after it gets launched from the Tanegashima island in Japan. Last week, the Hope probe was placed into the payload fairing – a nose cone structure that protects the craft – and was moved to the assembly building where the core part of the H-IIA rocket is kept.
The payload fairing will be mounted on top of the core, which will be followed by the rocket roll out. The transportation of the rocket – which is a two-stage launcher – from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad at the Yoshinobu Launch Complex takes 30 to 40 minutes. The eight Emirati engineers, in charge of the Mission are now at the launch site since April. They work in collaboration with the Japanese launch provider Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to ensure a smooth launch process.
Space officials from UAE, including the UAE Space Agency director-general and deputy project manager of the Emirates Mars Mission, will also be attending the launch, after a compulsory 15-day quarantine on reaching Japan, due to the Covid situation.
How to watch the launch
The locals can view the launch from a gallery, 3 kilometers away from the launch site, that too compliant with a strict social distancing protocols due to the global pandemic threat. But a live streaming will be available in the UAE Space Agency website in Arabic and English narration. One more choice is available to watch the launch without any comments. Click here to watch the live launch of UAE Mars Mission.
Omran Sharaf, project manager for the Emirates Mars Mission, believes the country’s latest journey to space will be a boost to the entire region. “We are actually building the capacity and capability in advanced sciences in the UAE and the region. This is something important for everyone. It will help the region to have stability and a more competitive economy and integrate more with the global community,” Mr. Sharaf told the state news agency. “Having a stable region is very important for the world. Having a strong national and regional economy is important for global community. That’s why the UAE called the mission ‘Hope’ as it will make such an impact, but you cannot measure it today or tomorrow, you will see it in 10 or 15 years”, Sharaf added.
Sarah Al Amiri, president of the UAE Space Agency and deputy project manager of the mission, confirmed that everything is proper for the launch on Wednesday midnight. “The spacecraft is ready for launch and all of the systems are now at a level that is ready to be launched,” she said.
Final checks before launch
The engineers will check the following points just before the launch on July 15th.
- The payload fairing will be mounted on top of the rocket
- More weather checks before rocket is rolled out to the launch pad
- Rocket to be rolled out to the launch pad
- Launch day and hourly weather checks
If these are all good, UAE will stamp one more deep mark in the world Space Technology achievements.