The biggest challenge for the United Arab Emirate’s Hope Probe to Mars will be its entrance into the red planet’s orbit, according to UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, adding that there was a 50-50 chance for success or failure.
"Within a few hours, the Hope Probe will arrive at Mars. The biggest challenge for the Probe is to enter Mars orbit, with a 50 percent success rate; though the failure rate is 50 percent, I believe success is within our grasp,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said in a message released on the eve of the probe’s arrival to Mars.
As the Hope Probe approaches Mars, the hope of a new scientific breakthrough will be added to humanity's record, bringing the UAE to the forefront of research and knowledge. Many wonder what drives us to go to Mars, but only those who read the future realize why we do. pic.twitter.com/Hc4O3SHgUf— Maktoum Bin Mohammed (@MaktoumMohammed) February 7, 2021
“But I say, even if we could not enter the orbit, we've already made history. This is the farthest point in the universe to be reached by Arabs throughout their history... More than five million working hours by over 200 Emirati male and female engineers,” he added.
The probe is expected to arrive on Mars on February 9 at 7:42 p.m. local UAE time, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The unmanned spacecraft will explore Mars’ climactic dynamics in daily, and seasonal timescales for a full Martian year – which equates to 687 earth days. The mission has never been completed previously, WAM said.
The mission will make the UAE the fifth country in the world to reach the planet after the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the European Space Agency and India, WAM reported.
The probe’s complex maneuver next week will be the most critical part of the mission as the spacecraft will have to swiftly reduce its speed from 121,000km/h to 18,000km/h to enter Mars’ orbit.