Science & Technology

UAE to explore Mars for solutions to issues on Earth

By Omnia Al Desoukie

Dubai, Jul 13 (efe-epa).- The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is preparing to launch its flagship mission Hope Mars to find solutions on the red planet to some of Earth’s problems.

The mission, set to be launched on 15 July at 5.51 am Japan time (14 July at 20.51 GMT) in Tokyo, will seek out knowledge needed for challenges such as water and food in the region as the temperature rises, threatening a country that already has scarce water resources.

“Better understanding the historical changes that Mars went through, allows us to understand how planetary systems that are sort of similar to Earth evolved with time, and what change happened and what influences changes on those planetary systems. To understand what could possibly happen to earth,” Sarah al-Amiri, minister of state for advanced sciences, said.

The mission will be studying water vapor, ice clouds, ozone and dust on Mars employing two infrared spectrometers, an imager and the Emirates explorer imager EXI to take color images of Mars.

Using both instruments together, they will map all the different wave lengths that have been observed.

Mars has perplexed scientists who want to understand its transformation from a planet that had a wet atmosphere to a dry and arid one, as we see today.

The mission, which comes after six years of the creation of the UAE national space agency, has been a challenge, according to al-Amiri, deputy project manager of the Emirates Mars mission at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

“The complexity of this mission is roughly five times more than the complexity of any other mission that we’ve developed when it came to the space program in the UAE,” she added.

The spacecraft was assembled in the University of Colorado Boulder because some of the facilities were already based there.

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