UAE’s Amal spacecraft launches rockets to Mars in Arab world first

TOKYO: A United Arab Emirates spacecraft exploded on Monday during a seven-month trip to Mars, marking the start of the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
The liftoff of the Mars orbiter named Amal, or Hope, from Japan marked the start of a rush for Earth’s neighbor that includes attempts from China and the United States.
The UAE said its Amal was working after launch as it headed to Mars.
Omran Sharaf, the Emirates Mars Mission’s project manager, told reporters in Dubai about an hour and a half after take-off that the probe was sending signals. Sharaf said his team will now look at the data, but everything looks good so far.
People cheered and cheered, with a woman offering a common festive cry for weddings.

Hope is expected to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates the 50th anniversary of the country’s formation.
It took off from Tanegashima Space Center on a small island in southern Japan aboard a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket, on time at 6:58 a.m. (9:58 p.m. GMT Sunday) in the blue sky. Mitsubishi said the probe had been successfully separated from the rocket and was now on a solo trip. The launch had been delayed for five days due to stormy weather.
At the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, Emirati men in their traditional white kandora dresses and women in their black abayas watched the rocket take off. As his steps parted, a group of Emirati men seated on the ground cheered. They started to cheer, one using his face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic to wipe away a tear.
“It was great to see everything going as planned today. It looks like everything is fine. This is a huge step in terms of space exploration for a nation like the UAE to take this giant step to send a spacecraft to Mars, ”said astronomer Fred Watson.
“To be on the way to a planet like Mars is an exceptional achievement.”
A newcomer to space development, the United Arab Emirates have successfully put three Earth observation satellites into orbit. Two were developed by South Korea and launched by Russia, and a third – its own – was launched by Japan.

A successful Hope mission to Mars would be a major milestone for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space, less than a year after the launch of the UAE’s first astronaut, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori. He spent more than a week on the International Space Station last fall.
The UAE has set a goal of building a human colony on Mars by 2117.
“It sends a very strong message to Arab youth: if the UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, it could do a lot more,” Omran Sharaf, project director of the Associated Press, told The Associated Press on Sunday. Emirates Mars Mission. as his colleagues prepared for the launch.
The Emiratis involved in the program also recognized that it represented a step forward for the Arab world, the homeland of mathematicians and scientists for centuries before the wars and chaos that have gripped it in recent times.
“So the region has gone through difficult times over the past decades, if not centuries,” Sharaf said. “Now we have the case of the UAE, a country that is moving forward with its plans, also looking to the future and future of the region.”
For their first mission to Mars, the UAE chose partners instead of doing everything alone.
“Developing a spacecraft is not easy even if there is sufficient funding,” said Junya Terazono, an astronomer at Aizu University.
Emirati scientists worked with researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of California, Berkeley, and Arizona State University. The spacecraft was assembled in Boulder and transported to Japan as the two countries sought to expand their ties with the wealthy and politically stable nation of the Middle East.

The Hope probe is ready for launch into space in a few hours.
Watch the launch LIVE: https://t.co/A0mQfe2Awh
July 20
01:58:14 AM (UAE time)
July 19, 2020
09:58:14 GMT#HopeMarsMission pic.twitter.com/ZU7T1FtT55

The Amal spacecraft, with its launch, cost $ 200 million, according to Omran Sharaf, the UAE’s project manager. Operating costs on Mars have not yet been disclosed.
Amal, the size of a small car, carries three instruments to study the upper atmosphere and monitor climate change while circling the Red Planet for at least two years. He’s set to follow up on NASA’s Maven orbiter sent to Mars in 2014 to study how it came about from a hot and humid world that might have harbored microbial life during its first billion years. years, in today’s cold and barren place.
Hope also plans to send back footage of the weather changes.
Japan, an ally of the United States, has long collaborated in the fields of defense and space technologies.

Japan, poor in resources, has traditionally maintained friendly ties with countries in the Middle East. In recent years, Japan has increasingly intensified its trade and defense relations with the United Arab Emirates and is now seeking to expand its space activities.
Two other missions to Mars are planned in the coming days by the United States and China. The United States plans to send a rover named Perseverance to look for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth. Takeoff is scheduled for July 30. China aims to explore Mars with an orbiter and rover to study the planet’s surface and search for water and ice. This launch is scheduled for around July 23.
Japan has its own mission to Mars scheduled for 2024.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to send a spacecraft to the Martian moon Phobos to collect samples to bring back to Earth in 2029.

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