The United Arab Emirates is recently celebrating its first mission at Mars. The nation as recently put a probe named as Hope in the Orbit around the planet thereby making it the 5th spacefaring entity just after the US, the Soviet Union, Europe and India. The spacecraft did leave earth around 7 months ago and has recently made a braking manoeuvre to get captured by the gravitational force of Mars. Their satellite carries three instruments for the observation, how neutral atoms of hydrogen and oxygen – remnants from Mars’ once abundant water – leak into space. Hope will return spectacular, high-resolution, full-disk images of the planet as a part of the process.
Hope is approaching Mars at over 120,000km/h (relative to the Sun) and it is required to execute a precise 27-minute burn on its braking engines, so as to scrub its speed or risk skipping off into the ever deeper space. The manoeuvre, is performed by six thrusters on the probe. It commenced at about 19:30 GST (15:30 GMT), with confirmation being received at Earth for some 11 minutes later. This delay is due to the time that it took for the radio signals to traverse the 190-million-km separation between Mars and Earth.
Omran Sharaf, the Hope mission’s project director at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre said, “Mars orbit insertion was the most critical and dangerous part of our journey to Mars, exposing the Hope probe to stresses and pressures it has never before faced.” He further added, “With this enormous milestone achieved, we are now preparing to transition to our science orbit and commence science data gathering.”