Hope probe ready to set course for Mars


It is the very first spacecraft developed by an Arab country to set sail for Mars. The probe Hope, designed by the United Arab Emirates, will launch from Japan on Tuesday evening.

The start of a seven-month journey into the orbit of our neighboring planet. But for that, it will first have to pass a delicate phase.

_ “People think that the launch of the probe is the most important moment, and I answer that no, explains Omran Sahraf, the director of the mission “Emirates Mars”. Reaching Mars is another very important phase of the mission. This is called insertion into the orbit of Mars. If you go too fast, you miss Mars and if you go too slow, you crash on Mars. “_

This mission is to learn more about the atmosphere and weather of the red planet, which still contains many mysteries.

“What we are going to do on Mars is to study the climate for a whole Martian year,” explains Sarah Al-Alimi, the UAE Minister of State in charge of advanced sciences. It is approximately two Earth years. We will better understand the dynamics of the meteorological system, what happens over an entire year and throughout the day, and what are the seasonal variations on the two hemispheres of Mars. “

The answers to these questions are eagerly awaited by the scientific community in Europe, the United States and beyond, as they will undoubtedly help to understand why the planet’s climate has changed so radically during its existence.

“We know that Mars had a much thicker atmosphere in the past, recalls Mark McCaughrean, senior scientific consultant for science and exploration at the European Space Agency. It was also much warmer there and there was liquid water on the surface. So the objective of this mission and other studies carried out by Maven or other satellites like ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter is to try to understand how the atmosphere is lost on Mars. It’s not just about blustering and saying “We are on Mars”. It’s about serving science, which is great. “

The launch of the probe Hope intervenes during a very busy month for Martian exploration. NASA is about to launch a mission to install a robot and a drone on the planet, and China is also expected to launch its very first mission to Mars in July.

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