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UAE’s Hope Mission Launched to Mars

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
July 19, 2020
Filed under , , , , , , , , ,
An artist’s impression of the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft in orbit around Mars, where it will arrive in February 2021 after launching in July from Japan. (Credit: MBRSC)

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope spacecraft is on its way to Mars after a successful launch from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

A H-IIA rocket lifted off on Monday morning at 6:58 a.m. JST (5:58 p.m. EDT on Sunday). Hope separated from the second stage about an hour later and sent its first signal to controllers.

It is the first interplanetary mission undertaken by an Arab nation. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai developed the Mars orbiter in partnership with the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Hope, which is also known as the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), will study the dynamics of the Red Planet’s atmosphere on a global scale.

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.

Hope is scheduled to arrive at Mars in early February 2021 after a 200-day cruise.

7 responses to “UAE’s Hope Mission Launched to Mars”

  1. duheagle says:

    I watched the mission webcast on Spaceflight Now. For most of its considerable length, watching it bore a strong resemblance to watching paint dry. Titles and text were all in Arabic with no subtitles. There was no host nor even any narration. Even the text updates from Spaceflight Now below the webcast window were uncharacteristically infrequent and light on real information.

    The control facility looked more like a hotel lobby service area/front desk than a typical control room. I kept expecting to see bellhops pushing luggage carts across the field of view.

    The only comprehensible audio featured sporadic bits of some obvious American repeatedly cajoling his Emirati counterparts to do this and look at that and could they confirm some other thing. There were curt, accented replies in English and some sporadic conversation in Arabic – which always sounds to me like two guys clearing their throats at each other.

    Some sort of communications connectivity seemed to be an issue for awhile.

    This was pretty obviously a thoroughgoing “makee-learnee” project for the Emiratis and the training wheels seemed very much in place.

    We heard essentially none of the Japanese launch end of things and there wasn’t even an audible countdown.

    Compared to this effort, even the soporific Indian and ESA launch webcasts are tight, kinetic, edge-of-your-seat affairs.

    • Andrew Tubbiolo says:

      It was obvious that was not the real flight control. That entire program is outsourced. The only thing from the UAE was the stickers, and the TV stage we watched. It’s McDonnell Douglass’ final state mentioned in the 90’s where “the only thing McDonnell Douglass would put on the airplane would be the sticker” made real. You looked at the future of the United States if we take our society to where the American business sector wants to take it. Outsource everything, do none of the work, the only natives left in the enterprise are the managers in charge who tell other managers what to manage. And the rest of plebes are a bunch of religious nut cases with no skills and no creative outlets who constantly bicker among themselves who’s a racist, or who’s a Trump hating RINO.

      When you don’t invest in your own countrymen and don’t educate them and pay them well to do the real work, that facade is what you become. We’re nowhere near becoming like that now, but there’s a big phat vector resultant from America’s Brownian motion that’s pointing right in that direction. We can go there.

      I hope they keep doing it . It’s a much better investment than arms, or fake real estate projects into the Persian Gulf. The only changes I’d make is have them run their fake airlines with locals, and do as much work in their space program with as many of their own people as possible. The middle east needs to become a huge trade school. Ground transport is going electric, and it’s going to fit hand in glove with solar and wind power. We’re not going to need their oil in another 30 years. They’ll need a new game.

      • redneck says:

        I really wish I had the time to hash this out with you.

      • duheagle says:

        I don’t think the Emirates space program is a complete Potemkin village – there were plenty of Emiratis involved, just not in senior positions. Hope has, more than anything else, been a learning project.

        The Emirates are correct to be casting about for something potentially remunerative to do when their oil runs out – or at least major revenues from same. The current Covid-19-related plunge in demand is a sort of preview of coming distractions in that respect.

        We don’t actually need their oil now. The U.S. has been a net exporter of oil and gas for a few years.

        Demand for oil is not going away in 30 years, but it may fall to a point where the revenue it generates isn’t remotely like what the Gulf states have become used to these past few decades. We will see whether Arabic/Islamic culture is actually compatible with modernity. I’m not especially optimistic on that score. Especially as the Emirates seems to be the only Islamic nation making any kind of real effort to deal with a rapidly approaching post-oil-rich future.

        The “outsource everything” phase in American business seems to be dying out. There is no question that big business is somewhat prone to fads – remember “conglomerates?” – but outsourcing of capital-intensive infrastructure wasn’t driven by cheap coolie labor overseas, it was driven by idiotic Marx-based taxation notions put in place and maintained there, until recently, by Democrats.

        It’s worth noting that Elon Musk has been a sort of one-man countermarch anent outsourcing. Even the off-shoring Tesla has done/is doing is based on the fact that cars are heavy, voluminous and moving them from one country to another as finished goods has always been an iffy practice economically. In huge markets – China, the U.S., the EU – it makes more sense to build closer to the ultimate end-users. That’s why the Germans, Japanese and Koreans have plants in the U.S. and why Tesla has a plant in China and will soon have one in Germany. The German Tesla plant certainly isn’t being built to take advantage of cheap coolie German labor.

        Generally speaking, companies that did too much outsourcing/off-shoring have had troubles with those “strategies” long-term. Boeing’s experiment with outsourcing much of the 787 was a dumpster fire for years. Legacy rocket builders who rely on others for engines are now at a significant disadvantage relative to newcomers who roll their own. The management cadres most heavily into outsourcing are now passing into history just as the conglomerateurs who preceded them did. The market, as a whole, is self-correcting.

    • Zed_WEASEL says:

      You should have watch the MHI launch webcast.

      • Paul_Scutts says:

        I did, Zed and it was much better than the one Richard has described. But, what I missed the most was the countdown clock, the digital display of elapsed time, altitude & velocity and live video feeds from the stages. SpaceX, ULA and Rocket Lab has me spoiled, methinks. Stay safe, Paul.

  2. savuporo says:

    Hope it’s 100% successful ! Great international collaboration

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