Emirates Mars Mission – Hope Probe Spacecraft is getting ready for its liftoff on 15th July 2020 at 00:51:27 UAE time from Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC) in Japan. A new milestone was achieved by the team of Emiratis leading the launch of this historic mission, with the encapsulation of the spacecraft and its mounting on the rocket.
A joint press statement by UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) read, “All testing and checks leading to the full launch and mission-readiness are currently being carried out. Throughout the process, the team continues to monitor the stages of the Probe. This will be followed by joint operations with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MHI, to trickle-charge the spacecraft and set it for takeoff. This stage also included functional tests of the spacecraft subsystems, along with electrical power, communication, altitude control, command and control, propulsion, thermal control and software systems.”
Project Manager of Emirates Mars Mission, Omran Sharaf said that the encapsulation and mounting of the capsule onto the rocket was a key milestone and “an intricate process, which encompasses technical evaluations, system verifications and validation and examining every single aspect of the spacecraft.”
The Launch Team Lead, Omar Al Shehhi said that it was a “vital step” and that “the process entails continuous monitoring and detailed testing to ensure that all systems are functioning to optimum levels.”
The team has been working on this mission for six years and will continue monitoring and testing up to the final countdown, which will begin 16 hours prior to the liftoff. The Hope Probe is expected to enter the Mars orbit in February 2021, which will coincide with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The launch window for the mission is between 15th July and 13th August, and will help ensure that the spacecraft reaches its “desired orbit in the shortest possible time, consuming the lowest possible energy,” according to the statement.