UAE’s Mars mission on schedule for 2020 launch


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The new colonial movement: According to one of the chief engineers for the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) unmanned mission to Mars, dubbed Hope, the spacecraft is on schedule for its 2020 launch by a Japanese rocket.

If all goes right, Hope will go into Martian orbit in 2021.

The quotes in the article from that chief engineer reveal somewhat the overall shallowness of UAE’s space effort at this point.

Omar Hussain, Lead Mission Design and Navigation Engineer for the Emirates Mars Mission, speaking at the Science Event 2019 held at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai, said the team have had to overcome a number of challenges along the way.

“It is too early to talk about a specific date just yet but everything is on track and there have been no delays,” said the 29-year-old Emirati. “Speaking for myself, it has been challenging because I had to switch from planning for Earth-based projects to interplanetary missions.

“It took a lot of education to get to that point as I had never done a mission that goes beyond the Earth’s lower orbits. I had to study how I would get the spacecraft from Earth to Mars.”

The goal with their space program is to help diversify UAE’s economy. It might eventually do this, but for now, they I think are very dependent on the help they are getting from others. Japan is providing the rocket, and India the engineering expertise for the spacecraft.

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2 comments

  • wodun

    That they rely on another country for launch is not big deal. How you get to space is less important than what you do there. But in order to have a space based industry, you do need to be able to do some of the engineering to support it.

  • Edward

    wodun,
    I agree completely. It is one of the reasons why I think that the next decade will see a boom in the space industry. Many countries have started their own space programs, and with it becoming less expensive to launch unmanned payloads and becoming possible to commercially launch manned missions to orbit, and later beyond, we should see many countries develop the engineering and science to perform many missions that expand our knowledge of space and what we can do there.

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