The Emirates Mars Mission – Hope Probe is currently undergoing final checks and tests as it prepares for its journey to the Red Planet on July 15 at 00:51:27 UAE time from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.
The checks are being led by a team of Emiratis comprising Ahmed Al Yammahi, Mahmood Al Awadhi and Mohammed Al Aemri who are responsible for mechanical operations including lift onto the rocket; Essa Al Mehairi, responsible for battery charging and spacecraft monitoring; Yousuf Al Shehhi entrusted with MLI closing; Omar Al Shehhi responsible for Aliveness Test and spacecraft monitoring; and Khalifa Al Mehairi for spacecraft monitoring.
The Probe has undergone a series of tests since its arrival at the Tanegashima Centre in April. These tests are done over 50 working days and involve functional tests of the spacecraft subsystems that include electrical power, communication, altitude control, command and control, propulsion, thermal control and software systems.
The team working on EMM is divided into three sub-teams – considering the challenges on transportation, travel, logistics and adhering to the health procedures in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the first set of team members reached Japan on April 6 and underwent the mandatory quarantine and health checks, the second team arrived on April 21. The third team is still in the UAE, offering the necessary back-up support to the Mission.
Dr. Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, affirmed that the Hope Probe is representative of the ambitions of the UAE and its positive message of hope to the region and the world.
The Hope Probe is anticipated to enter the Mars orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.