At the beginning of a seven-month trip to Mars on the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world, a United Arab Emirates spacecraft rolled into blue skies from a Japanese launch centre Monday. The Mars orbiter ‘s lift named Amal, or Hope, begins a scramble to travel to Earth’s neighbour, which China and the United States are expected to follow over the next few days. Those watching were transfixed by the liftoff at the space centre in Dubai, then cheered and clapped, with one woman offering a traditional wedding celebratory scream.
Amal lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center on time at 6:58 a.m. local time on a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket after delay by bad weather for five days. Later, Mitsubishi state that the probe successfully separating from the rocket and is on its solo journey to Mars now. The probe transmitting signals that analyze later, but for now, everything seems fine, Omran Sharaf, the director of the UAE Mars mission told reporters about an hour and a half after liftoff in Dubai.
In February 2021, the year the UAE is celebrating 50 years since the country’s establishment, Amal expects to hit Mars. Amal begins transmitting Martian atmospheric data in September of that year, which is available to the international scientific community, Sharaf state.
Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center Watches the Liftoff
Emirati men watched the liftoff at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai in their typical white kandora robes, and women in their black abayas. A cheer went out from people sitting on the floor as the stages dispersed. We started to clap, one used his face mask, worn out because of the coronavirus pandemic, to brush a tear away.
A pioneer in space production, the UAE has successfully placed three satellites in orbit for Earth observation. South Korea developed two, and Russia launched them, and Japan launched a third, its own. A successful mission to Mars will be a big move for the oil-dependent economy pursuing a future in space, coming less than a year after the launch of Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first UAE astronaut. Last autumn he spent over a week in the International Space Station. The UAE set a target, by 2117, to establish a human colony on Mars.
The Emiratis also recognized that it represented a move forward for the Arab world. The birthplace of mathematicians and scientists for centuries before the recent wars and turmoil.
The UAE chose partners for the first Mars flight, instead of doing it all alone.
Scholars Collaborate with Emirati
Scholars at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley, and Arizona State University have collaborated with Emirati scholars. At Boulder, the spacecraft build and ship to Japan. This is as the two countries try to extend their relations with the wealthy and politically secure Middle East country. According to Sharaf, the Amal spacecraft and its launch cost $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,498 crores). Costs of operation at Mars to discloses.
Amal holds three instruments, about the size of a small car, to study the upper atmosphere. Also, monitor climate change when circling the red planet for at least two years. This expects to follow up on NASA’s Maven orbiter sent to Mars in 2014. This is to research how the planet went from a dry, wet world. Also, in its first billion years may have harboured microbial life to today’s dark, barren environment. Hope also plans to send back images of the changes in the weather.
In the coming days, two more Mars missions expect. With an orbiter and rover, China intends to discover the Martian surface. Also, search for water and ice with a launch planned around Thursday. The US plans to send a rover named Perseverance to search. This is for signs of ancient life and gathers samples of rock and soil to return to Earth. Liftoff is for July 30. Japan is planning its own Mission to Mars in 2024. It plans to send spacecraft to the Martian moon Phobos. This is to collect samples in 2029 in order to bring them back to earth.