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UAE's 'Hope' probe set to reach Mars orbit on Tuesday

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 8 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars, the “Hope” probe is set to reach the Red Planet’s orbit on Tuesday.

In preparation for the arrival of the Hope Probe to the Red Planet, Dubai’s iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa lit up in red.

“Only 1 day separating us from witnessing the dream of a nation enter the dark 27 minutes that determine our future and our fate. We hope for Hope as it gets closer to being captured into Mars’ orbit,” the official Hope Mars Mission Twitter handle said on Monday.

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“Upon completing the Mars Orbit Insertion, the UAE will be the 5th nation in human history to reach the Red Planet. It is now time to end 50 years of ambition, with a new beginning,” it added.

Launched on July 19, the historic “Hope” probe is UAE’s first-ever interplanetary mission.

According to the mission statement, the Hope probe which is officially called the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is designed to orbit Mars and study the dynamics in the Martian atmosphere on a global scale, and on both diurnal and seasonal timescales.

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Using three scientific instruments on board the spacecraft, EMM will provide a set of measurements fundamental to better understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere.

It aims to reveal many of the Red Planet’s secrets, which could assist in setting up a human outpost on the planet in the future.

Its objectives include understanding climate dynamics and the global weather map through characterising the lower atmosphere of Mars and understand the structure and variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere, as well as identifying why Mars is losing them into space.

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Besides the “Hope” probe, two other missions are set to reach Mars this month.

While China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft is set to reach Mars on February 10, US space agency NASA’s Perseverance rover will touch down on February 18.

–IANS

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