Humans have always been looking to the stars for the answers to life’s greatest questions. We’ve had dreams of leaving the planet behind and exploring the expanse of space at our leisure, but today’s technology makes space exploration a distinct possibility–we’ve already been to the moon, after all!
Before we explore the rest of the universe, humanity must first explore its own back yard. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is attempting to do just that with their up and coming UAE space mission aimed at learning more about the Red Planet. These five facts will tell the casual space-hobbyist all they need to know about these new and exciting times!
1. The UAE’s state of the art probe is named “Hope.”
The Hope probe is an engineering feat: it’s the size of a small car and features enough solar panels to power a small army of laptops. The probe is equipped with a camera capable enough to take full-color, high-resolution photographs. It also has both infra-red and ultraviolet spectrometers, which will collect data which will help scientists on the project study Mar’s atmospheric changes and climate cycles.
2. The UAE is working directly with NASA on this groundbreaking project.
The United States’ NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) signed an umbrella agreement with the UAE that leaves opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations on future space exploration. NASA plans on sending humans to Mars sometime after 2030, and the data provided by the Hope probe is an important piece of the puzzle.
3. Hope is the first interplanetary spacecraft to be built by an Arab nation.
Hope represents a new scientific frontier for the UAE, who is a top country in the space industry. This project marks a new focus for the UAE, who wish to usher in a new age of peaceful collaboration with the goal of further establishing the space technology sector.
4. It launches in July of 2020 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.
The trip to Mars will take approximately 200 days and Hope will be traveling a distance of more than 60 million kilometers. It will reach Mars in the first quarter of 2021–which is the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s founding. Perfect timing!
5. 1000 gigabytes of new information about Mars will be gathered and transmitted back to earth in the span of two years.
The information gathered by the UAC will be important for the entirety of the space technology sector, whether it’s studying why Mars’ atmosphere is disappearing into space or cementing the space technology sector’s new place as the fastest growing industry on the planet.