The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will make history on Wednesday by becoming the first Arab nation to send an interplanetary mission to Mars. “Hope” — or Al-Amal in Arabic — is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of unification of United Arab Emirates, an alliance of seven sheikhdoms. The UAE’s Mars probe will not land on the Red Planet.
A rocket carrying the unmanned spacecraft is due to take off from Japan’s remote Tanegashima Space Center at 5:51am local time (2051 GMT Tuesday). Once there, it will loop the planet for a whole Martian year — 687 days.
The Emirati project is one of three racing to Mars, including Tianwen-1 from China and Mars 2020 from the United States, taking advantage of the period when the Earth and Mars are nearest: a mere 55 million kilometres (34 million miles) apart.
Source: Geo TV