The US space agency NASA and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency have collaborated for UAE’s Mars mission that is scheduled for 2021. NASA will help UAE in improving the communication capability of Mars spacecraft Hope, revealed NASA Deputy Chief Scientist Dr Gale Allen.
“We want to work very closely with the UAE on any other missions going forward,” Allen, who was in the UAE for the UN-UAE High Level Forum on “Space as a Driver for Socio-Economic Sustainable Development”, was quoted as saying.
“For the Mars probe, one of things that is very interesting to us is an opportunity to put communications capability on the probe. The importance for us is that we really want to send humans to Mars in the 2030s,” she said.
While commenting on the agreement, she said that it is an “umbrella agreement” which means that both the space agencies will collaborate in future space missions.
Over 150 engineers are involved in developing the Hope spacecraft. UAE space agency has appointed Omran Sharaf as the Project Manager and Sarah Amiri, Deputy Project Manager. Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) will develop the probe along with other partners while the mission will be monitored by the UAE space agency.
While talking about the Hope spacecraft, it is a hexagonal shaped probe and weighs little over 1500kg. Engineers have equipped it with solar panels that have the ability to generate 600-watt power to charge the batteries. Solar power will save fuel and will enable the spacecraft to survive for a longer duration.
If everything goes well then UAE will become the ninth nation to send a probe to the Red Planet. What’s striking is that Mars mission will coincide with 50th anniversary of the country. With the launch, UAE will create the history as it will become the first Islamic state to send a probe to Mars.