The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe spacecraft finished mounting to the rocket that will take it to Martian orbit on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Government of Dubai’s media office.
The completion of the mounting process is a significant milestone in the probe’s journey to Mars. The rocket that the Hope Probe is carrying will launch from the Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC) in Japan next week on July 15 at exactly 00:51:27 UAE time.
“The encapsulation and mounting of the capsule onto the rocket are one of the key milestones of the mission. It is an intricate process, which encompasses technical evaluations, system verifications and validation and examining every single aspect of the spacecraft,” said Omran Sharaf, Emirates Mars Mission Project Manager in the statement.
The probe will be the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation. It is expected to enter Mars’ orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s golden jubilee celebration that marks the historic union of the emirates.
A team of Emiratis has been leading the operation and supervising every aspect of the probe’s preparation for its launch. The encapsulation process was overseen by a team of Emirati engineers on the ground in Japan, alongside Japanese counterparts.
“Each and every stage and step – from encapsulation to getting it mounted on the rocket – is extremely critical. The encapsulation is a proud and emotional moment for the Hope Probe project team. After six years of hard work, our Probe is one step closer to launch,” Mohammed Wali, Deputy Project Manager of the Launch Team, said in the statement.