The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe has travelled over halfway to the red planet and has successfully completed the mid-flight testing of all of its equipment, Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of Advanced Technology and Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency said at a Masdar employee event today.
The Hope Probe, which can travel at speeds in excess of 99,000 kilometers per hour, aims to reach Mars by February 2021 and will begin collecting scientific data in April, which it will then make freely available to the public from September.
“The Hope Probe will collect data to better understand how the weather system of Mars impacts atmospheric change and atmospheric loss,” Her Excellency said, adding that the probe will carry out scientific experiments orbiting Mars for around two years.
“What this mission in particular will feed into is a global understanding of what role weather systems play in atmospheric loss. Our data will contribute to all of the other data sets that are being collected about Mars today. It is going to add into our general understanding of Earth as a planetary system that exists in the solar system. Exploring any planet or any space object allows you to better understand the evolution of planets from the wider context.”
One of the key objectives of the UAE Space Agency is to “develop capabilities in science and technology and design and development of complex systems to further diversify the UAE’s economy in more knowledge-intensive sectors.”
The Emirates Mars Mission is an important milestone in achieving this objective as it aims to stimulate the development of more valuable UAE-based space companies and make the country a regional leader in the sector, HE Al Amiri explained.
“The UAE Space Agency is working to develop the regulatory framework, ensuring that new companies have access to knowledge and expertise if required and are able to flourish and gain expertise in design and development by alleviating some of the risks of starting businesses. It will also ensure that they are able to develop products and services, create the necessary demand in the country and outside for space products.”