For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – The first Arab mission to Mars that is sponsored by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ) is set for liftoff today, Sunday, July 19, on a Japanese rocket after a series weather delays postponed the mission to study the planets weather and climate by nearly a week already from July 14.
The UAE mission is called the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) and also known as the Hope Mars Orbiter will study the Red Planet and “aims to build the first full picture of Mars’ climate throughout the Martian year” says the team.
Launch on the Japanese H-2A rocket is scheduled to take place today, Sunday, July 19 US time at 5:58:14 p.m. EDT (2158:14 GMT), or Monday July 20th, 2020 at 01:58 am UAE local time, 6:58 a.m. Japan Standard Time from Launch Pad No. 1 at the Yoshinobu launch complex located at the Tanegashima Space Center.
You can watch the launch live here:
The 174-foot-tall (53-meter) H-2A rocket is manufactured and supplied by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).
Hope counts as the first H-2A launch to Mars
The countdown is proceeding well at this time says MHI:
“Under the beautiful starry sky, the terminal countdown operation is proceeding smoothly as planned. We can see Mars well tonight,” MHI tweeted.
美しい星空の下、ここまでのターミナル・カウントダウン作業は計画通り順調に進行しています。今夜は火星もよく見えます。Under the beautiful starry sky, the terminal countdown operation is proceeding smoothly as planned. We can see Mars well tonight. #H2AF42 pic.twitter.com/D9I3YRAiUF
— MHI Launch Services (@MHI_LS) July 19, 2020
If all goes well the Hope Mars Orbiter will be the first mission from the Arab world to orbit another planet
EMM or Hope is funded by the UAE Space Agency and The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre to the tune of about $200 million.
In addition to the science another goal is to “Get a probe to Mars by the Emirates’ 50th anniversary in 2021.”
The Mini Cooper sized probe has a mass of approximately 2,976-pound (1,350-kilogram).
After a seven-month 493,500,000 km interplanetary journey the EMM Hope Mars Orbiter will arrive at the Red Planet in Feb. 2021 – around the same time as NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission.
Hope’s mission is focused on atmospheric dynamics. It will explore the atmosphere of Mars globally while sampling both diurnal (daily) and seasonal timescales. (Never been done by any previous Mars mission). Understanding atmospheres of other planets, allows us to better understand our planet (since there is another sample to compare with) and better understand other planets in the universe.
Hope is equipped with three science instruments:
EXI – The Emirates eXploration Imager is a digital camera that will capture high resolution images of Mars along with measuring water ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere through the UV bands.
EMIRS – The Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer will to measure global distribution of dust, ice cloud, and water vapor in the Martian lower atmosphere.
EMUS – The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer will measure oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermoshphere and the variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere.
Partners on the EMM team:
The Hope Probe was designed and developed by the EMM team at MBRSC together with Knowledge Transfer partners at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkley.
The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at University of Colorado, Boulder is the primary knowledge transfer partner for mission design, spacecraft, and EXI/EMUS instrument development, testing, science team/apprenticeship, and operations
Arizona State University is the knowledge transfer partner for EMIRS instrument development and science team/apprenticeship
The University of California, Berkeley Space Sciences Lab (SSL) is the knowledge transfer partner for Science team/apprenticeship & EMUS detectors
Watch for full details in our post launch story.
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
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Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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