The United Arab Emirates successfully launched last Sunday (19) the country’s first mission that has Mars as its final destination. The probe sent into space was named Hope.
The operation took place at a space center in Japan, using a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries rocket. In addition, the country had assistance from American institutions in the development of technology.
The probe’s goal is to collect data on climate change, the formation of sandstorms and changes in the atmosphere on the planet over two terrestrial years. It uses solar panels to generate energy for the communication systems themselves and will be operated from a base located in Dubai.
Hope is not expected to reach Mars orbit until February 2021 – with the launch at this time of year taking advantage of a time when the planets are closer. Other probe launch missions by other nations are due to be carried out in the coming weeks, including a Chinese probe (Tianwen-1) and the North American Perseverance, which is a motorized and wheeled vehicle.
The mission cost US $ 200 million and is the UAE’s first attempt at interplanetary exploration. The region has started to invest even more in research projects in recent years in an attempt to depend less and less on oil extraction.