The United Arab Emirates’ interplanetary orbital probe called Hope is preparing to enter Martian orbit as part of the UAE’s first deep space mission. If all goes well, the spacecraft will study the Martian atmosphere. The scheduled time for the mission is two years.
The Nadezhda interplanetary automatic probe was launched using an H-IIA launch vehicle from the launch pad of the Japanese Tanegashima Space Center on July 20, 2020. The maneuver to enter the Mars orbit is scheduled for 18:30 Moscow time. It will end at 18:42. However, the space flight control center in Dubai will be able to learn about the success or failure of this maneuver only 22 minutes after it was completed. That is how long it will take to transmit a radio signal from a device located several hundred million kilometers from Earth using NASA’s Deep Space Network. With such delays, it is impossible to control the spacecraft in manual mode; therefore, the probe will perform all operations to enter the orbit of the Red Planet in automatic mode.
For gravitational capture, the probe will need to significantly slow down from a speed of 120 thousand km / h to 18 thousand km / h. To do this, he will start all six Delta-V jet engines for 27 minutes. Five minutes after turning off the engines, the space flight control center on Earth will lose communication with the spacecraft for about 15 minutes, since Nadezhda will fly around Mars from its far side at that moment.
“This phase has been rehearsed many times. We have thought through every possible, good and bad scenario, every programmed command sequence. “, – commented on the resource The verge Sarah Al-Amiri, Deputy Project Leader, Emirates Mars Mission.
About 450 specialists have worked on the development and testing of the Nadezhda space probe for six years. If the mission is successful, the UAE will become the fifth space power to reach Mars after the US, USSR, EU (ESA) and India.
Over the next two months, the probe will also have to perform a number of additional corrective maneuvers that will reduce the orbit around the Red Planet. Thanks to this, the device will be able to begin its main task: monitoring the Martian atmosphere and studying meteorological events. The “Nadezhda” will make a complete revolution around Mars once every 55 days. Every 9 days, the device will take pictures of the planet’s surface.
The latest information on the progress of the mission will be posted on official mission page on Twitter, as well as on the UAE Space Agency website.
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