Mars ahead! UAE’s Hope spacecraft spots Crimson Planet for 1st time

Mars ahead! UAE’s Hope spacecraft spots Crimson Planet for 1st time

An image of Mars taken by the star tracker on the UAE's Hope mission, which will arrive at the Red Planet in February.

An image of Mars taken by the star tracker on the UAE’s Hope mission, which is able to advance at the Crimson Planet in February.

(Picture: © MBRSC)

The United Arab Emirates’ first-ever interplanetary mission is effectively on its formula to Mars and has the photos to point it.

The UAE’s Hope probe launched from Japan toward Mars on July 19, representing the first time an Arab nation has long previous previous Earth’s orbit. Now, the spacecraft is already one fifth of the model thru its prolonged trip, in line with a assertion from the program.

“The Hope probe is officially 100 million km [60 million miles] into its trip to the Crimson Planet,” Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, top minister of the UAE, wrote on Twitter on Monday (Aug. 24). “Mars, as demonstrated in the image captured by the probe’s star tracker, is before us, leaving Saturn and Jupiter in the again of. The Hope probe is anticipated to advance to Mars in February 2021.”

Connected: The United Arab Emirates’ Hope mission to Mars in photos

The star tracker is designed to withhold Hope on target, telling the spacecraft precisely where it is. In addition, the probe carries a extra archaic digicam for expend as soon because it arrives at Mars and begins its science work.

Between open and arrival, the Hope group expects the spacecraft will must fabricate a pair of half dozen trajectory correction maneuvers to finetune its course toward the Crimson Planet. The most important of those took topic earlier this month.

Jupiter and Saturn loom in Hope's rearview mirror as the probe heads toward Mars.

Jupiter and Saturn loom in Hope’s rearview replicate because the probe heads toward Mars.  (Picture credit: MBRSC)

“We maintain finished our first trajectory correction maneuver, which became as soon as the first test of Mars Hope’s propulsion and trajectory withhold an eye on programs, as well to the first time the spacecraft’s six Delta-V thrusters maintain been activated,” Omran Sharaf, challenge director for the mission, acknowledged in a assertion. “That 21-second burn attach us firmly no longer off beam toward Mars. We’re contented with the performance of Mars Hope so far.”

As soon as Hope arrives safely in orbit spherical Mars, the spacecraft will situation about studying the Crimson Planet’s climate and ambiance for as a minimal one native year (nearly two Earth years).

Electronic mail Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or prepare her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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