The Ground Control station located in the Al Khawaneej area of Dubai has successfully received the first transmission from the Hope Probe at 3.10am. This was announced by the UAE Space Agency and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.
More details about the mission will be announced later today.
The Hope Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre at 1.58 Monday morning. The Probe was successfully released from the rocket at 2.55am, and its solar panels were turned on to face the sun properly.
The Ground Control team is monitoring the functions of the probe to ensure that all systems are working properly.
Earlier, upon its arrival to Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre, the Hope Probe went through many tests and preparations, including filling the fuel tank with about 800kg of hydrogen fuel, checking the tank to ensure that it has no leaks, as well as checking the communications systems, moving the spacecraft to the launch pad and charging the batteries. Tests also included the craft’s subsystems.
The craft will take seven months to travel to the red planet, covering a distance of 493 million km. It is expected to reach Mar’s orbit in February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the UAE.
The launch of the probe was delayed twice due to unstable weather conditions.
The probe will remain orbiting Mars for an entire Martian year, or 687 Earth days, gathering data. It will take 55 hours for the probe to orbit Mars once.
The probe will help draw a clear and comprehensive picture of the Martian climate, which will give scientists deeper insight into the past and future of our own planet as well as the potential of life for humans on Mars and on other distant planets.
The Hope Probe team will communicate and share findings with the global Mars science community on key questions that no other mission has addressed before.