Hope Probe to be launched in July 2020 as scheduled
Initial tests and verification of systems and communication capabilities completed
Five environmental tests on the Probe to be conducted from June to December 2019
The UAE Space Agency and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced that 85% of the Hope Probe project has been completed. In a joint statement, the two organisations confirmed that most of the main parts of the project have been completed and are currently undergoing intensive testing to ensure every aspect of the Probe is ready for activation a few months before the launch date.
The Probe has already entered an intensive testing phase to ensure its readiness before the launch date, with less than 500 days are remaining for the launch. It is planned to reach Mars by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. Several aspects related to the design, assembly of the structure, cameras and control have been verified. So far, the Probe’s systems and components, as well as its ability to communicate with the ground station have been checked by the team. The Probe has succeeded in all the tests it has been subject to so far, ahead of the five environmental tests to be conducted on the probe from June to December 2019.
The scientific devices the probe will be using, including The Emirates eXploration imager (EXI), Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), and the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS), are ready. The EMUS has been successfully mounted on the Probe. These devices are key to achieving the objectives of the scientific mission, which is a deeper and wider understanding of the Martian atmosphere, and the study of climate change and its relationship to atmospheric erosion, which was one of the reasons for the disappearance of liquid water from the surface of the planet.
Another unique aspect of this mission is that for the first time, a Mars exploration project will be able to take a global picture of the Martian atmosphere. It will do so by taking an integrated picture of the atmosphere throughout the day and for a long period of time, helping to capture data on the planet’s atmosphere in different seasons across the year. This data will be made available to the global community.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe is almost complete. The UAE is on the verge of making history, after turning its dream of becoming the first Arabic and Islamic country to send a spacecraft to Mars into reality. This monumental endeavour is the culmination of the efforts of a skilled and experienced team of young Emiratis, who with the support of the nation and its visionary leadership will secure the UAE’s position at the forefront of space exploration and the international space sector.”
“The UAE, through this ambitious project, has positioned itself amongst the leading countries in the field of space exploration and advanced space manufacturing. The project has so far showcased the level of capabilities and world-class facilities that are available in the UAE. The development and launch of the Hope Probe to Mars would not have been possible without the inspired guidance of the UAE’s leadership, whose trust in, and support of young talented Emiratis has enabled our nation to achieve success across a range of sectors and industries,” added HE Dr. Al Falasi
HE Dr. Al Falasi commended the outstanding team responsible for the Emirates Mars Mission at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), applauding its professionalism throughout all phases of the project, from the design of the Hope Probe to its construction and testing. His Excellency also highlighted how international experts who visited the UAE to review the project had admired the dedication and expertise of the Emirates Mars Mission team.
His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, said, “We are very pleased with the stage we have reached in the Hope Probe. We will continue to do more for our beloved country, to add to the UAE’s list of achievements, in a new field that is not only related to the future of our dear country, but to the future of the entire humanity”.
Al Mansoori stressed that space exploration is no longer a dream for the UAE, it has become a reality through major projects done by Emirati youth, most notably, the Hope Probe. He highlighted that the Hope Probe represents the Arab world’s hopes for reviving Arab civilisation with the help of Arab youth who are capable of achieving the vision of a project such as the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM).
An advanced stage
His Excellency Yousuf Hamad Al Shaibani, Director General of MBRSC, said, “Completing 85% of the Hope Probe in this short period was a great challenge that we overcame through the guidance of our wise leadership and the efforts of our youth. The UAE has reached an advanced stage in achieving our wise leadership’s vision to reach the Mars orbit in December 2021. According to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Hope Probe is set to arrive in Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50thanniversary of the founding of the UAE.”
His Excellency Dr. Eng. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “As the development of the Hope Probe enters its final stages, we mark yet another milestone achievement for this aspirational project. The next and final stage, prior to the Probe’s launch, will involve testing the probe’s readiness to operate in outer space. This is an important step towards the successful conclusion of the Probe’s development, as extensive testing will allow us to optimise the Probe and ensure its systems are fully operational.”
“We have made significant progress in the completion of the EMM – Hope Probe. We have completed 85% of the project, while the manufacturing will be completed by 2020, and the probe will be sent to Mars by 2021, with the UAE celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its founding,” said Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of EMM – Hope Probe.
"We have developed several solutions for many technical and scientific challenges that we faced in the past years in the design and manufacture of the Hope Probe. With the launch time approaching, the UAE leadership’s vision became clear in the selection of Mars exploration as an objective to change the culture of the Emirati community and enhance the skills of its youth. More importantly, the UAE’s wise leadership seeks to find teams capable of facing future challenges in all fields, not just in the space sector,” added Sharaf.
"The approach that we have followed in developing the Hope Probe is unique and unprecedented. Through our research, the team has been able to reach solutions that will change scientific concepts,” continued Sharaf.
MBRSC is responsible for the implementation and supervision of EMM – Hope Probe, and its various scientific, educational and awareness initiatives. The Centre is also responsible for the execution and supervision of all stages of the design, development and launch of the Hope Probe in 2020. The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) is funding and supervising procedures and necessary details for the implementation of this project. Following a journey of seven months, the Probe is expected to enter the Red Planet’s orbit in 2021, coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of the Union.
The objectives of the Emirates Mars Mission – Hope Probe were developed in accordance with MEPAG, the global scientific community specialised in Mars exploration and coordinated with international entities to ensure the best results. This will be an important addition to the global efforts to explore space and the surrounding planets. For the first time, a Mars exploration project will be able to take a global picture of the Martian atmosphere. It will do so by taking an integrated picture of the atmosphere throughout the day and for a long period of time, helping to create an better understanding of the planet’s atmosphere in different seasons of the year.