The United Arab Emirates is gearing up to launch its first-ever interplanetary mission this week – a Mars orbiter called 'Hope'. The mission was to launch today but the weather conditions forced the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center to postpone the departure of Hope, a car-sized probe set to study the Martian atmosphere.
The UAE’s space mission, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, will launch on Friday July 17, 2020 at 12:43am UAE time (July 16, 2020 at 8:43pm GMT) from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.— Hope Mars Mission (@HopeMarsMission) July 14, 2020
The UAE’s Hope would be lifted off on Japan’s H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. According to reports, the launch site director for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Keiji Suzuki had previously said that the final decision would be made before the launch of the historic mission.
How and when to watch ‘Hope’ launch online
Here’s where to watch it all streamed live online from Tanegashima, Japan on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 20:43 UTC.
- Tanegashima, Japan: 05:43, Friday, July 17, 2020
- Dubai, UAE: 00:43, Friday, July 17, 2020
- London UK: 21:43, Thursday, July 16, 2020
- Paris, France: 22:43, Thursday, July 16, 2020
- New York, USA: 16:42, Thursday, July 16, 2020
'Hope' to reach Mars in February 2021
UAE’s Hope is set to reach the Red Planet in February 2021 which is also the year that the country would celebrate the 50 years of its formation. The first interplanetary mission from the country would mark the ‘history-defining moment’ for its oil-dependent economy that is now seeking a future in the outer space.
What will ‘Hope’ do when it gets to Mars?
Mars is losing its atmosphere, with hydrogen and oxygen constantly leaking into space. Why? It’s partly to do with the solar wind, but Hope will try to study both the lower and upper atmosphere of Mars to see if there’s a connection between the planet’s own systems—weather, dust-storms and temperatures—and that leakage of hydrogen and oxygen.
It’s going to take a look at both parts of the atmosphere at both day and night, and for an entire Martian year of 687 days.