UAE Mars mission marks one year anniversary

UAE Mars mission marks one year anniversary
2 min read
24 July, 2021
The UAEs unmanned probe, which is currently orbiting Mars, has marked one year since it successfully launched.
The unmanned probe will be collecting weather data [Getty]

The United Arab Emirates has marked one year since the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission, which is currently in orbit around the red planet. 

The orbiting probe is creating a comprehensive picture of the weather dynamic in Mars' atmosphere; data which could be vital for any future colonies on the planet. 

The rocket launched successfully from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Kagoshima prefecture, in south-west Japan, with the UAE space mission entering orbit on 23 March, and began its scientific observations on 23 May. 

The unmanned probe, named "Al-Amal", Arabic for "Hope", is on an elliptical path of Mars, which will take it as close as 20,000 km to the planet, and as far away as 43,000 km. 

It is anticipated that the first full set of atmosphere and weather data from the unmanned probe will be sent in October 2021. 

The Emirates Mars Mission was the first space mission to be launched by the Gulf state and the first to be launched by an Arab country. 

The UAE was just the fifth country or organisation in the world, to reach the red planet. 

At the time of its take off, the UAE’s government said the launch represented a "message of pride, hope and peace to the Arab region, in which we renew the golden age of Arab and Islamic discoveries".

While the mission's project manager, Omran Sharaf, highlighted the important scientific data that the probe will be able to gather. 

"What is unique about this mission is that for the first time the scientific community around the world will have an holistic view of the Martian atmosphere at different times of the day at different seasons," he said in a pre-launch briefing. 

"We have a strategy to contribute to the global effort in developing technologies and science work that will help one day if humanity decides to put a human on Mars."

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