The United Arab Emirates is working to send a probe to orbit Mars. The UAE Space Agency has called its mission “Al Amal” Hope and has now introduced it to the public. Various events have been organised in Dubai to give residents an insight into future plans for space exploration: workshops and interactive exhibitions that target families and schools. These activities are designed to encourage students to explore and research.
The probe is planned to enter Mars’ orbit in 2021, the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. It will be the first space exploration mission by an Arab state. The teams are working with scientists and academics at the University of Colorado.
The idea is for the team to learn from their academic partners and bring the knowledge back to the UAE for the spacecraft assembly. Mars was once thought to be a habitable planet because of the presence of water just like on earth, and recent explorations by NASA state that the Red Planet used to have a cool climate.
“This mission would be taking us to another level so it would be adding to the level of Science or knowledge about Mars and its atmosphere to the scientific community,” says Salem Humaid AlMarri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technology Affairs. “Another very important thing for this mission is what it gives back. Obviously ESA has a lot of experience in Mars mission a lot of Mars scientists, we want to make sure that our data reach them and we can cooperate with them on that data.”
Once the probe is in orbit around Mars it will study all aspects of the planet’s atmosphere. The daily and yearly dynamic climate of the different layers and the elements that make up their proportions, and finally the release of hydrogen and oxygen into space. Scientists believe that Mars became too hot which caused the water to evaporate and the molecules to escape through the edge of the atmosphere into space.