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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid shares photo of Mars taken by UAE probe

A little over two months remain until the probe reaches Mars

Image of Mars taken by the UAE Hope Probe. Courtesy: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Twitter
Image of Mars taken by the UAE Hope Probe. Courtesy: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Twitter

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, shared an image of Mars taken by the country's Hope probe, on Thursday.

The probe, launched in July, has now surpassed the half-way mark of it's journey to the Red Planet with an estimated arrival date set for February 9 next year.

"A picture from the Emirati Hope Probe of the planet Mars while on it's journey, of which 135 million kilometres remain," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter, where he shared the photo.

It is not the first image to be sent received on Earth from the probe. In July, four days after the orbiter made its historic blast from the site in Japan, Sheikh Mohammed posted an image showing its first glimpse of Mars.

And in August, Sheikh Mohammed shared pictures taken by the probe of some planets, which looked like tiny white specks in a sea of black space. But Thursday's image showed Mars in all it's red glory.

Travelling at a speed of 94,831 kilometres per hour, and with just over two months to go until it arrives at Mars, the probe's scientific mission has already begun.

UAE’s Hope orbiter will use its star tracker, a navigational camera it has been using to reach the Red Planet, to study the dust density and its distribution throughout the solar system.

It is believed interplanetary dust played an important role in the formation of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

Shortly before it reaches the Red Planet, its ultraviolet spectrometer (EMUS) will be turned to capture Mars’ exospheric hydrogen – gas that exists on the very edge of the planet’s atmosphere.

Hope will spend two years in Mars’ science orbit, studying its thin atmosphere and weather conditions.

The Hope Probe launch from Japan in July

Updated: December 3, 2020 06:38 PM

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