The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) have announced that 85% of the Hope Probe has been completed. In a joint statement, they confirmed that most of the main parts of the probe have been completed and are currently undergoing intensive testing to ensure that it is ready a few months before the launch date.
The probe has already entered an intensive testing phase to ensure its readiness before the launch date, which is in less than 500 days from now. It is planned to reach Mars by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. Several aspects related to the design, assembly of the structure, cameras and control have been verified. So far, the probe’s systems and components, as well as its ability to communicate with the ground station have been checked by the team. The probe has succeeded in all the tests it has been subject to so far, as a prelude to the five environmental tests to be conducted on the probe from June to December 2019.
The scientific devices the probe will be using include The Emirates eXploration imager (EXI), Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), and the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS), are ready and EMUS had been successfully mounted on the probe. These devices are key to achieving the objectives of the scientific mission, which is a deeper and wider understanding of the Martian atmosphere, and the study of climate change and its relationship to atmospheric erosion, which was one of the reasons for the disappearance of liquid water from the surface of the planet.
A unique aspect of this mission is that for the first time, a Mars exploration project will be able to take a global picture of the Martian atmosphere. This will be done by taking an integrated picture of the atmosphere throughout the day and for a long period of time allowing it to do so in different seasons throughout the year. Furthermore, this data will be available to the global community.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe is almost complete. The UAE is on the verge of making history, after transforming its dream of becoming the first Arabic and Islamic country to send a spacecraft to Mars into reality. This monumental endeavor is the culmination of the efforts of a skilled and experienced team of young Emiratis, who with the support of the nation and its visionary leadership will secure the UAE’s position at the forefront of space exploration and the international space sector.
Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of EMM at Hope Probe added: “We have made significant progress in the completion of the EMM – Hope Probe. We have completed 85% of the project, while the manufacturing will be completed by 2020, and the probe will be sent to Mars by 2021, with the UAE celebrating the Golden Jubilee. We managed to develop several solutions for many technical and scientific challenges that we faced in the past years in the design and manufacture of the Hope Probe. The approach that we have followed in developing the Hope Probe is unique and unprecedented. Through our research, the team has been able to reach solutions that will change scientific concepts.”
MBRSC is responsible for the implementation and supervision of EMM – Hope Probe, and its various scientific, educational and awareness initiatives. The Centre is also responsible for the execution and supervision of all stages of the design, development and launch of the Hope Probe in 2020. The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) is funding and supervising procedures and necessary details for the implementation of this project. Following a journey of 7 months, the probe is expected to enter the Red Planet’s orbit in 2021, coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of the Union.