Abu Dhabi/ Tanegashima (Japan): UAE’s ever greatest space mission, its Mars probe launching has been finalized to July 20th. The launch date was postponed two times due to the bad weather at the launch site, which is an island called Tanegashima in Japan. The new launch will occur from Tanegashima at 1:58 AM in the UAE time.
The Emirates-built craft aims to study the climate of the Red Planet and is due to arrive in February 2021, in time for the country’s 50th anniversary. The Emirates-built craft aims to study the climate of the Red Planet and is due to arrive in February 2021, in time for the country’s 50th anniversary. The Hope probe launch was initially scheduled to be on 15th July but was deferred to 17th July. Since the weather conditions were not compromising, the second deferment was to 20th of this month. However, the Mars Mission officials stated that the launch date may still face a putting off as the bad weather still persists in the island.
“The updated launch date and time for H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 42 is July 20, 2020 at 6:58:14 (Japan Standard Time),” said a spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the launch provider. “There are possibilities for further delay affected by the latest weather forecast.” The Hope probe will begin the initial stages of its 500-million-kilometre journey on board the H-IIA rocket. After leaving Earth’s orbit, the 1.3 tons craft will be released, travelling an estimated 200 days before it reaches Mars.
The team has a relatively narrow window to begin the mission. After August 3, scientists will have to wait until 2022 until Mars and Earth are suitably aligned again. Over the past few weeks, Tanegashima Island has been battered by heavy rain and strong winds – conditions that could potentially damage both the rocket and spacecraft. In the meantime, UAE Mars Mission and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries released the launch criteria of the probe carrying rocket:
- Peak wind speed should not exceed 20.9 metres per second
- Rain should be less than 8mm per hour
- No cumulonimbus clouds in flight trajectory
- No atmospheric discharge in the flight trajectory
- No lightning within 10km of the launch site
- No lightning observed within 20km of flight path
While the whole nation is eager for witnessing its biggest space mission, the continuous putting off for their dream to achieve has never reduced the people’s confidence. In response to an initiative by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to recruit for the post of scientists, inventors and researchers to work in the UAE Mars Mission, 37,000 applications were received.
More applications came from Egypt than any other country, with 19,391 requests. That was followed by Iraq (6,447), Algeria (4,836), Morocco (3,107), the UAE (692), Jordan (681), Palestine (422), Syria (406), Tunisia (370) and Saudi Arabia (361). Registration is now closed for the first round. A committee of scientists, researchers and other experts will evaluate applicants based on their qualifications, achievements and skills potential. Ahmad Al Falasi, chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said “The project reflects an investment in the growing vital sectors like space science and advanced technologies”. “This long-term investment will strengthen the overall development of the Arab world,” he said.