Monday, 20 July 2020 11:24

UAE launches Mars probe to study atmospheric dynamics

UAE launches Mars probe to study atmospheric dynamics Courtesy UAE Space Centre

The United Arab Emirates has launched a mission to Mars, with the Hope Probe taking off on Sunday evening.

In a statement, the UAE Space Agency said the Probe was launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan aboard an H2A202 rocket, part of the H-IIA launch vehicle family.

The H-IIA Launch Vehicle is a high-performance rocket developed and operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which is providing all services related to the spacecraft launch including launch vehicle manufacturing, interface co-ordination, and launch operations at the Centre.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is looking after of flight safety, range safety and launch site facility.

The launch vehicle consists of a first stage, second stage, fairing, and a pair of Solid Rocket Boosters. The propulsion system of the launch vehicle uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.


A technician carries out last-minute checks before the launch. Courtesy UAE Space Centre

The UAE Space Agency said in a statement that the Emirates Mars Mission was designed to ​orbit the red planet and study the dynamics of the atmosphere.

It would use scientific instruments to study the upward transport of energy and particles, and the subsequent escape of atmospheric particles from the gravity of Mars.

The Probe will study the weather system of Mars, monitoring for the first-time weather changes throughout the day, across the planet and during all seasons.

It will also study the distribution of hydrogen and oxygen in the upper portions of Mars’ atmosphere (the exosphere) and focus on better understanding the link between weather changes in Mars’ lower atmosphere, with loss of hydrogen and oxygen from the upper layers of the atmosphere.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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