The UAE’s Hope Probe remains on schedule on its mission to Mars, according to the director general of the country’s Space Agency.
Mohammed Al Ahbabi offered an update on the probe’s journey to the Red Planet during his keynote speech on the opening day of the World Space Forum, hosted by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
“The probe is healthy on its way to Mars,” said Mr Al Ahbabi.
“We launched it in July of this year and it will arrive on February 9 next year as the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.”
The probe is travelling at a speed of 94,831 kilometres per hour as it races towards it destination.
“It’s an orbital probe and will collect information about Mars’ atmosphere and the data will be then brought back to Earth and shared with more than 200 universities and institutions,” said Mr Al Ahbabi.
“This will be a major contribution from the UAE to advance knowledge about space and will also help to promote research and development across the world.”
The probe has already started work even though it is still two months away from Mars.
The Hope orbiter is using its star tracker, a navigational camera, to study dust density and its distribution across the solar system.
Once it arrives, the weather satellite will stay in the planet's science orbit for two years to study the upper and lower atmosphere. It will send back one terabyte of data, which will be shared with scientists and education and research institutions worldwide.