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United Arab Emirates launched its first unmanned mission to Mars

publicado a la‎(s)‎ 15 jun. 2020 5:56 por Plataforma Sites Dgac   [ actualizado el 11 sept. 2020 8:25 ]
Historically, the space race has been led by the United States and Russia, which went to space while it was still part of the Soviet Union.
This is how the Amal space probe looks like, according to the image provided by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Deputy project manager and minister for advanced sciences of the United Arab Emirates, Sarah al-Amiri, explains in a press conference what the Amal mission is all about.
Gradually and as the years have gone by, new countries and blocs have joined the efforts to reach the stars, such as the European Union, China, Japan, India and Israel, as well as private companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Aerospace. 

In this area, and at a public level, the United Arab Emirates is a relatively unknown actor, but the Arab country is about to launch an ambitious unmanned exploration mission to Mars. 

Amal mission

On July 19, 2020, the United Arab Emirates launched the Amal mission, an Arabic word that means “Hope”, which consists of a probe that is traveling to Mars and that will orbit the planet for 687 days to study its climatology and the composition of its atmosphere.

The rocket that carries the probe left from the Japanese island of Tanegashima and the device will travel to its destination for seven months. The 1,350 kilogram probe will complete an orbit around Mars every 55 hours for a total of one Martian year, which is equivalent to 687 Earth days, and has several sensors built into it to understand the Red Planet’s weather patterns.

“We are studying a planet that looks as if it was very similar to our own, but has undergone some form of change to the point it can no longer have water, one of the major building blocks of life” said in a press conference Sarah al-Amiri, deputy project manager and minister for advanced sciences of the United Arab Emirates.

Sir Ian Blatchford, director of the UK's Science Museum Group, told the BBC that the UAE mission “will provide the most comprehensive, holistic picture of Mars’s climate.”

Relevance

Officials say the launch is of enormous importance to the status and economic survival of the UAE. Those in charge of space exploration in the Arab World hope that the developing space program will open up more opportunities for the youth of the country and strengthen its place among the most influential nations in the world.

According to project manager Omran Sharaf, getting the probe to Mars and putting it into orbit around the planet will be a huge challenge, given that about half of the missions to the Red Planet end due to failures.

“This is a region that more than 800 years ago used to be a generator of knowledge, an example of coexistence and cooperation, of people of differing faiths building the region. The moment we stopped doing that, we went backwards” Sharaf said. Currently, there are only eight active missions to Mars, and the United Arab Emirates hopes to join that exclusive club.

The country has had some success in space exploration so far, launching four Earth observation satellites and sending its own astronaut, Hazzaa al-Mansoori, to the International Space Station.

In preparing for the Amal mission, the United Arab Emirates consulted with Japanese and American experts and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai partnered with experts from the University of Colorado, from the Arizona State University and the Space Sciences Laboratory of Berkeley, California. 

Source: The Daily Mail.
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