NASA and UAE Space Agency will be partnering in the effort by the Emirate to send a space probe to Mars. It will become the ninth nation which is having a space mission dedicated to the red planet. The unmanned probe will travel more than 60 million kilometers in nine months and will coincide with the nation’s 50th golden jubilee anniversary.
In a first by an Islamic nation, the program called Hope will encourage the peaceful use of the space research. The US space agency NASA will put communication capability on the probe which will reach the Red Planet in 2012. This was stated by NASA’s Deputy Chief, Gale Allen in an interview with Gulf News. He added that the mission is critical because NASA wants to send a man to the Red Planet by the 2030’s.
The mission will instill a message of optimism among hundreds of young Arabs in a region which is more or less synonymous with terrorism and chaos. The data obtained from the mission will be shared among 200 institutions across the world.
The mission is spearheaded by Omran Sharaf as the Project Manager; Sarah Amiri, Deputy Project Manager and over 150 Emirati engineers. The mission will be handled by the UAE Space Agency, and it has been developed from the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), with support from international partners. Hope probe is hexagonal in shape and weighs 1500 kilogram with fuel. It will use solar panels which will generate 600-watt power to charge its batteries and communicate with ground stations by a high-gain antenna
The Mars probe will be the first in a series of collaborations which NASA is planning with other nations in future space exploration missions. The objectives of the mission are to help in building human resources skilled in space technology, the peaceful muse of space technology for the betterment of humanity, encourage innovation and expand the nation’s efforts in space.