The United Arab Emirates is coming up on its 50th anniversary. and what better way to celebrate this milestone than to send a ship to Mars.
2020 is a hotbed for countries trying to make a bid for interplanetary missions to the red planet. The reason for this, it is the closest our two worlds will be in orbit for the next two years. There is a small window in the summer months that everyone seems to want to take advantage of.
The summer of 2020 will see The UAE send its first ship out piggybacking on the top of a Japanese rocket. Following this launch, China will send up its orbiter, rover, and lander on July 23rd. A week later you will see NASA launch its rover named ‘Perseverance’ to Mars. If there are any delays in these launches, based on the timing, they will have to wait for the next window in 2022.
The United Emirates is set on getting to Mars by next year. In December of 2021, the UAE will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Back in 2013, the Prime Minister of the UAE asked their top space engineers to help make this a reality. 7 years later and the spacecraft ‘Hope’ is completed and ready to launch.
How long does it take to get to Mars you ask? It will take about 7 months. The plan is that ‘Hope’ will reach Mars in February 2021. Upon arrival, it will place itself into orbit around Mars. This is something only a very small number of space organizations have been able to do successfully.
The goal is to have Hope give scientists a better understanding of Mar’s lower atmosphere. The idea is to better understand how the seasons and environment changes throughout the year. This information will go a long way to better understanding the environmental volatility of the red planet.
It’s an exciting time for interplanetary travel. With the two planets being the closest they will be for a couple of years. I am looking forward to what data is collected over the next year or so.