U.A.E. Space Agency uncrewed space exploration mission to Mars, Emirates Mars Mission has launched its first space mission Hope (al-Amal) on 20 July, 2020. This spacecraft was developed by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and Laboratory for Atmospheric & Space Physics (LASP) with the support of Arizona State University and University of California Berkeley. It was assembled at University of Colorado and lifted off at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.
U.A.E. has launched this project to mark the fiftieth Anniversary as an independent country. UAE Space Agency is funding Emirates Mars Mission and has also assigned the responsibility of supervising the complete execution process for the Hope probe. Hope is a compact cube in shape and structure. It is 2.37 metres (7 ft 9 in) wide and 2.90 metres (9 ft 6 in) long weighing 1,350 kilograms (2,980 lb) along with fuel. It has three main instruments: a camera, infrared spectrometer and ultraviolet spectrometer. It has two 900-watt solar panels for charging batteries. Its position is determined by the position of constellations with respect to the Sun.
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of U.A.E said “We aim for the U.A.E. to be among the top countries in the field of aerospace by 2021.”
Hope is assumed to reach Mars in February 2021 along with other two missions launched by the National Space Agencies of China (Tianwen-1) and the United States (Mars 2020). Hope is considered to produce the first-ever global image of the Martian atmosphere. It is claimed that it is the first holistic study of Martian climate and how the layers of atmosphere fit together. Hope will travel around seven months to reach the Martian orbit. It will be exploring Mars atmosphere for a full Martian year i.e. nearly two earth years. It will provide the information regarding connections between all different components of Martian climate like temperature, winds, dust, clouds etc. It will help to know why and how the level of hydrogen and oxygen into space. The data of Hope will be helpful to structure out the Earth’s atmosphere and its evolution over millions of years. These data will be shared to 200 universities and research centres of the world to share the knowledge and use it as a catalyst for the new generation.
Out of total 57 spacecraft, 28 have successful outcomes in Mars Missions. Till date, the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR) have only landed a spacecraft on Mars. Beside the United States, the Soviet Union, the European Union and India have also successfully sent spacecraft to the red planet, Mars and operating orbirter. European Union, Russia, Japan and India are also preparing to launch their respective Mars missions in the near future along with enrouted spacecraft.
Emirates Mars Mission also called as Hope mission is a $200 million project and U.A.E’s first attempt into interplanetary exploration. They also have already started planning about sending humans to Mars with their Mars 2117 program. If this Hope mission gets successful, U.A.E. will get entry into the club of space exploration. Though, attempting a Mars mission by a small country like the U.A.E is not ordinary news, it’s a great contribution in space exploration, astronomy and science and technology to the world.