UAE Hope Probe reaches Mars, enters orbit

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UAE's Hope Probe to Mars

The UAE News report: The UAE Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary mission undertaken by an Arab nation, made a major milestone for the mission as the Hope Probe reached its Mars Orbit Insertion, MOI, on Tuesday evening at 7:42 p.m. UAE local time, completing its 7-month journey to Mars.

The arrival to the Red Planet also marks the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s Union formation. The EMM made the UAE the first Arab country and the fifth globally to reach the red planet.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited the control room of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

They have issued congratulatory messages as the Hope Probe entered its Mars orbit.

Using three scientific instruments on board of the spacecraft, EMM will provide a set of measurements fundamental to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere.

The Hope probe was launched on July 20 from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Station.

Earlier, the final countdown started as the UAE’s Hope Probe, hope of millions of Emiratis, is gearing up for the critical Mars Orbit Insertion stage.

With just a couple of hours to go, look into what’s latest on the UAE’s first-ever interplanetary mission with the Hope Probe expected to enter the Red Planet’s orbit on Tuesday evening.

The Hope Probe also dreams of millions of Arabs and expatriates is scheduled to enter orbit on February 9 at 7.42pm (UAE time).

On the day, there will be a “dark” half an hour that will determine the fate of six years of continuous work spent on the probe.

The Hope Probe’s Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI), the most critical phase of the mission, will last an uninterrupted 27 minutes. Nail-bitingly, its destiny is at stake with a success rate of 50 per cent.

The Hope Probe approaches Mars with such a velocity that it will slingshot around it and continue into deep space if it isn’t slowed down to the level that it can be captured by Mars’ gravity.

During this time, the speed of the spacecraft will decelerate from its cruising speed of 121,000kmph down to 18,000kmph to achieve MoI.

Nearly half of the fuel is spent to slow the Hope Probe down enough to capture Mars’ orbit.

This will be the first time that the spacecraft’s system will be tested for nearly 30 minutes straight.

“The MOI is one of the riskiest phases in the mission. The main reason behind it is because for the first time we use our system and platform that has been developed for deep space to perform this operation for a long time.

“The previous critical phase was the launch phase, but there we used the MHI launcher – a launcher that has heritage and success rate,” said Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM).

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