The United Arab Emirates (UAE) set to launch its first mission to Mars on July 19, which is today. If the weather holds, the mission is set to launch at 5:58 PM EDT. The Hope Mission, also known as the Emirates Mars Mission, will launch atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the Tanegshima Space Center.
Anyone who likes to see rockets launching into space will be able to watch the launch here. The mission is costing the UAE $200 million, and if all goes as planned, it will arrive in Mars orbit in early 2021. The scientific mission is meant to orbit the Red Planet for at least one Mars year, which is a bit under two Earth years.
The goal of the Hope mission is to provide detailed and comprehensive information on the Martian atmosphere. Hope is going to orbit Mars in a unique equator-circling orbit that will give the probe another perspective of the planet’s thin atmosphere, which is mostly made of carbon dioxide. Hope isn’t the only new Mars mission launching this month, the orbits around Mars are starting to fill up.
China is also launching its Tianwen-1 Mars mission, which we mentioned yesterday was now sitting on the launch pad. The United States also has spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet and has for many years.
China’s mission has to launch relatively soon, the launch Window for Mars closes on August 15. Earth and Mars are only aligned for spacecraft launches once every 26 months. If China misses that launch window, they will have to wait a few years for it to come back around. This is the first Mars mission that is completely handled by China. The Mission is unique in that it has an orbiter, lander, and rover on one rocket.