Science & Technology

Emirati probe launched into space to orbit Mars in February

Tokyo, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- A rocket launched Monday from Japan took the Emirati probe “Hope” into space, which will orbit Mars next February in the first interplanetary mission carried out by an Arab country.

The launch of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) rocket was made at 6.58 local time (21.58 GMT Sunday), when scheduled, from the Tanegashima space center in the extreme south-west of Japan, according to images released by the firm.

The 42nd H-IIA series rocket was due to take off last Wednesday, but heavy rains in the area led to the postponement until Friday, and again postponed until Monday.

The rocket rose into a clear sky, after the countdown, without any prior impediment, and a few minutes later two additional propellers were dislodged and continued on its course.

MHI said in a statement that the launch was successful, its trajectory went as planned, and 57 minutes after takeoff the separation of the rocket from the spacecraft carrying the probe to Mars was confirmed.

The “Hope” probe will travel 495 million kilometers to enter the red planet’s orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the formation of the United Arab Emirates (USA).

The Emirati mission to Mars is the first in a series of three projects to Mars that will be completed in the coming weeks and that includes other vehicles launched by China (Tianwen-1) and by the United States (Mars 2020).

The idea of ??”Hope” is to study the climate and atmosphere of Mars, in addition to shedding light “on the causes that led to the disappearance of water and the chances of life on the red planet,” according to Emirati officials.

The “Hope” probe, developed by the Mohamed bin Rashid Space Center, was assembled at the University of Colorado Boulder, shipped to Dubai later, and then arrived at the Tanegashima launch base in mid-May on board the largest cargo plane of the world, the Antonov 12.

For its part, the central part of the rocket was manufactured at the MHI plant in Tobishima, central Japan, and transported by boat to the Tanegashima space center.

The rocket that carried the probe into space was 53 meters high and 4 meters in diameter, with a main propeller and two additional ones, also 4 meters in diameter. Today’s was MHI’s forty-fifth consecutive successful launch.

The MHI statement contains a statement by the president of the UAE Space Agency, Ahmad Belhoul al Falasi, in which he stressed that this Monday’s operation is “a historic milestone” for his country.

“With this achievement, the United States has become the youngest nation to successfully launch a mission to Mars six years after the project began,” he added.

For the Japanese firm, today’s launch is the second collaboration project with the Emirati authorities, since in 2018 another MHI rocket placed the Khalifasat observation satellite in Earth’s orbit. EFE-EPA


Related Articles

Back to top button