The United Arab Emirates has joined the league of five nations to send a mission to Mars. Its Mars mission has successfully entered the orbit of the Red Planet. It is called Hope Probe. According to an announcement made by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, the probe entered the Mars orbit on February 9 at 8.13 pm. It said that scientists will test the spacecraft’s onboard scientific instruments for about two months. Once the testing is completed, the probe will begin transition to its science orbit. The Hope Probe’s nearest point above the Red Planet surface is 1,000 km. The farthest point is 49,380 km in its capture orbit. The space center said that it will conduct Three Transition to Science manoeuvers. The shifting of the orbiter from the capture orbit to science orbit will take place in April.
The spacecraft will take 55 hours to complete one orbit of Mars. It will capture a full planetary sample every nine days. The spacecraft is carrying three scientific instruments. It will map a complete portrait of the Martian atmosphere. It will also study its seasonal changes and daily changes in the weather. The space agency expects to collect at least 1 TB of data from the spacecraft. The data will be shared with academic and scientific institutions across the world for free. The Hope Probe was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan aboard a Japanese rocket. It is the first Mars mission by any Muslim-majority nation in the world. The probe traveled more than 300 million miles since its launch in July 2020 to reach Mars.
The spacecraft will spend two years in the Martian orbit. It will capture snapshots of the Red Planet and send back crucial data related to the planet’s atmosphere. India was the first Asian country and the fourth in the world to join the elite club that has reached Mars. The United Arab Emirates is the second Asian nation to achieve this feat. The three other countries are America, Russia, and the European Space Agency. Hope is one of the three Mars missions launched in July 2020. The two others are China’s Tianwen-1 and America’s Perseverance. Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover. It is planned for landing in May. Perseverance is a NASA rover that will explore the Jezero crater.