The UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have announced that the new launch date for the HopeProbe to Mars – the first Arab interplanetary mission- will be on Friday 17th July, 2020.
The agency said in its announcement that the launching date of the first Arab mission to explore Mars was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions at the launch site of the rocket carrying the probe on Tanegashima Island, Japan. The new launch date is set for Friday, July 17th at 12:43 pm midnight Emirates time (July 16, 08:43 PM GMT) from Tanegashima Center.
The probe is scheduled to be launched on the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries "H2A-202" missile, and its journey to Mars will take about 7 months, covering an estimated distance of 493.5 million km at a speed of 121,000 km per hour. The probe uses stars tracking device to determine its location and direction.
The speed of the probe will slow down when it reaches Mars to 14,000 km per hour, then it will start orbiting Mars in an oval orbit, and it will take 55 hours to complete a full orbit around Mars.
The Hope probe is the first of its kind to monitor climate change on Mars, as it will fully study the weather on the Red Planet.
During its journey that will take a Martian year, or about two Earth years, the Hope Probe will monitor the climate changes in the lower atmosphere of the Red Planet throughout the day for the first time, and throughout the planet in all seasons, as well as the impact of climate changes on the escape of oxygen and hydrogen from The atmosphere of Mars, the erosion of the atmosphere of Mars, the movement of dust and water in the atmosphere of the planet.
The United Arab Emirates had entered the outer space exploration sector after the decree of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the country, to establish the Emirates Space Agency. Work has begun on a project to send the first Arab probe to Mars, and it was called the "Probe of Hope", making the UAE one of 9 countries that aspire to explore the planet.
It is planned that the probe will reach Mars in 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates.