On July 20, 2020 at the Tanegashima launch site in Japan, at 7:00 AM (local time), the Japanese space agency JAXA successfully sent the Hope probe belonging to the United Arab Emirates, aboard a Mitsubishi H-2A rocket. This historic collaborative martian mission is the first Arab interplanetary mission.
The Hope probe, which leaves on a seven-month journey, will travel the 493.5 million kilometers Earth-Mars distance before carrying out orbital insertion manoeuvres in February 2021. The probe, which will remain in orbit around Mars, will study the Red Planet's atmosphere and climate. The mission's four points of study are :
1) to find correlations between current weather and the planet's past climate ; 2) to study atmospheric escape ; 3) to determine exchanges between the upper and lower layers of the Martian atmosphere ; and 4) to observe changes in the Martian atmosphere over the course of a day and across the seasons.
Although Mars is a close neighbour to Earth, the chances of success for Martian missions are 1 for 2. Many probes and other rovers have missed their orbital insertion or landing. In the summer of 2020, being as close as possible to the Red Planet, there will also be two other probes leaving for Mars, one American and one Chinese. The American probe will, however, have a rover, Perseverance.
Review the launch of the H-2A rocket and the Hope probe:
William Mahe (WM), books and news author, passionate about the Universe, Science and technologies, university graduate from the Paris - Meudon Observatory in Astronomy and Celestial Mechanic. President of the SPETspace STEAM Society and Publishing Director of the SPETspace News. He is also a Harley Davidson and Honda motorcycles lover.