The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will launch a spacecraft flying around Mars next month to learn about the disappearance of the planet's atmosphere.
Named Amal meaning "hope" in Arabic, the ship will take off from the remote Japanese island of Tanegashima on July 15. The flight will last 7 months before the ship reaches Mars and orbits the planet. Currently, Mars is about 495.6 million km from Earth.
Illustration of UAE launching spacecraft to Mars. (Photo: Emirates Mars mission).
The 1,350kg Amal will complete a Mars orbit in 55 hours and will fly around the planet in a year. Amal will focus on understanding Mars' climate through a variety of sea sensors, helping to identify weather patterns on the planet. The ship is also equipped with multiple cameras, including ultraviolet and infrared, designed to monitor and analyze the climate. Amal will not land on the red planet's surface.
Much of Mars' previous mission assessed planetary geology in an attempt to understand the history of Mars. Project Amal will aim to discover what causes Mars to lose its atmosphere. "We're studying a planet that looks a lot like Earth, but there's evidence that Mars may not contain water, one of the key conditions for creating life. We want to find out whether Will the strong dust storm on Mars speed up the loss of hydrogen and oxygen? " , Sarah al-Amiri, Senior Science Minister and Deputy Project Manager, shared.
Data from Amal will be sent to 200 research institutes, helping to support other projects, including NASA. To increase the likelihood of success for the project, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai is working with experts in space travel at the University of Colorado, the University of Arizona and the Space Science Laboratory at Berkeley, California.