UAE’S Hope Mars Orbiter images Mars
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The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope Mars Orbiter has successfully imaged Mars for the first time using its star tracker camera, proving both that the spacecraft is on course and that its pointing capabilities are working as well .
“The Hope probe is officially 100 million km [60 million miles] into its journey to the Red Planet,” Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the UAE, wrote on Twitter on Monday (Aug. 24). “Mars, as demonstrated in the image captured by the probe’s star tracker, is ahead of us, leaving Saturn and Jupiter behind. The Hope probe is expected to arrive to Mars in February 2021.”
The star tracker is designed to keep Hope on course, telling the spacecraft precisely where it is. In addition, the probe carries a more traditional camera for use once it arrives at Mars and begins its science work.
Arrival in Mars orbit will take place in February ’21.