UAE announces launch date of Mars probe

The UAE’s unmanned spacecraft to Mars will be launched during a tight window between July 14 to August 3, 2020, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) has announced.

The spacecraft, called Hope, has to be launched during that short time frame as there cannot be any unwanted interstellar conditions or objects interfering with the probe’s seven-month long journey to Mars. If the dates are missed, it could be another two to two and half-year wait for another launch opportunity.

It will take off from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan. The launch date aims to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE.

The UAE’s mission to Mars, which falls under MBRSC’s Emirates Mars Mission programme (EMM), aims to study what caused water on the red planet to disappear in efforts to learn more about Earth’s past and future.

The spacecraft is currently undergoing an “intense testing phase” as the manufacturing stage has already been completed.

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