samedi 1 août 2015

The United Arab Emirates to the conquest of Mars

UAE Space Agency logo.

August 1, 2015

UAE Space Agency Launch Event

The UAE now aim higher than the skyscrapers of Dubai. The country aims to become the leader in space exploration; his new goal: Mars.

The Space Agency of the United Arab Emirates, born in July 2014, presented last May at MBRSC (Centre Spatial de Mohamed Bin Rashid) in Dubai, the first mission entirely planned and managed by the UAE.

Agency researchers are currently building the probe "Al Amal" ("Hope" in Arabic), which will leave for Mars in July 2020 in order to land there a year later. The choice of the year has not been left to chance: in 2021, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of the United Arab Emirates.

Image Above: The UAE Space Agency and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (the National Centre of Space Studies of France) - CNES sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a strategic partnership space entre les two entities. Image Credit: UAE Space Agency.

The objective of the mission is to study changes in the atmosphere of Mars during the diurnal and seasonal cycles and observe clouds and dust storms. The probe will also measure changes in temperature, dust, ice and gas in the different layers of the atmosphere. But above all, it seeks to unravel the mysteries of the red planet trying to find the reasons for the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere into space.

After 200 days of travel, the data collected by the probe will understand the changes in the atmosphere of the Earth over the past million years. More than 1,000 gigabytes of data will be analyzed by the Emirati researchers and shared with over 200 institutions worldwide. The Space Agency of the UAE has signed a collaboration agreement with the Space Agency of the UK and with the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) in France.

Images Above: Emirates Mars Mission Journey. Images Credit: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

Investments of the UAE in space technologies have already exceeded $ 5.5 billion and to date, the Agency has seven satellites in orbit, with the help of the European company EADS, American Boeing and the South Korean Setrac.

Space Agency of the young researchers are aware of the race against time to complete their mission. For example, the launch window - the time when Earth and Mars are closest - repeated only every two years. In fact, the mission can not afford to fall behind at risk of failing.

More importantly, these researchers feel invested with a historical mission, as they explain in a video. For them it is an important step for the Islamic civilization, which in the Middle Ages gave to humanity its first mathematicians and astronomers.

Image above:  Artist's view of the probe "Hope" arrival at Mars. Images Credit: Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.

Today, it is with some pride that UAE scientists this challenge. "If a small Arab state can reach Mars, then, really, everything is possible", they argue.

For more information about the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency, visit:

Images (Mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: ATS/UAE Space Agency/ Aerospace.

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