UAE to Launch First Mars Mission on Wednesday

Hope spacecraft in the clean room. (Credit: UAE Space Agency)

UPDATE: The launch has been delayed due to weather. New launch date TBD.

A Japanese H-2A rocket is set to launch the first Arab mission to Mars from the Tanegashima Space Center on Wednesday.

The Emirates Mars Mission, also known as Hope, consists of an orbiter that will study the dynamics of the Red Planet’s atmosphere on a global scale.

Liftoff is scheduled on Wednesday, July 15 at 5:51:27 am JST (2051:27 GMT/4:51:27 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 14). The UAE Space Agency will webcast the launch at https://www.emiratesmarsmission.ae/live/.

The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai developed the orbiter in partnership with the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Hope will study the Martian atmosphere with three instruments: Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer, Emirates Exploration Imager, and Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer.

“Using three scientific instruments on board of the spacecraft, EMM will provide a set of measurements fundamental to an improved understanding of ​circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere,” the UAE Space Agency said on its website.

“Combining such data with the monitoring of the upper layers of the atmosphere, EMM measurements will reveal the mechanisms behind the upward transport of energy and particles, and the subsequent escape of atmospheric particles from the gravity of Mars,” the website added.