NEW DELHI: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has postponed the launch of its mission to Mars for a second time due to weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, the government's communications office said on Wednesday.
The probe was originally due to be launched from Japan on Wednesday but had been postponed until Friday for the same reason. A new launch date in July will be announced soon, the statement said.
The UAE has said the launch window extends until August 3.
Here is all you need to know about 'Hope':
* The UAE's 'Hope' probe was due to set off from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre early Wednesday for a seven-month journey to the red planet, but storm clouds around the site delayed the initial launch, a statement from the Mars mission said.
* 'Hope' — Al-Amal in Arabic — is expected to start orbiting Mars by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE.
* The 1,350-kilogramme (2,970-pound) probe — about the size of an SUV — is one of three racing to the Red Planet, with Chinese and US rockets also taking advantage of the Earth and Mars being unusually close: a mere hop of 55 million kilometres (34 million miles).
* 'Hope' is to arrive in orbit around Mars in February. The spacecraft — which cost about $200 million to build and launch — will carry three instruments: an infrared spectrometer, an ultraviolet spectrometer and a camera.
* Three instruments mounted on the probe will provide a picture of the Mars atmosphere throughout the Martian year. The first is an infrared spectrometer to measure the lower atmosphere and analyse the temperature structure. The second is a high-resolution imager that will provide information about ozone levels. And the third, an ultraviolet spectrometer, is set to measure oxygen and hydrogen levels from a distance of up to 43,000 kilometres from the surface.
* Once in orbit, one loop will take 55 hours at an average speed of 121,000 kph, while contact with the UAE command and control centre will be limited to six to eight hours twice a week.
* From its high orbit — varying from 12,400 miles to 27,000 miles above the surface — 'Hope' will give planetary scientists their first global view of Martian weather at all times of day.
* Over its two-year mission, it will investigate how dust storms and other weather phenomena near the Martian surface speed or slow the loss of the planets atmosphere into space.
* It will loop the planet for a whole Martian year of 687 Earth days.
* Understanding the atmospheres of other planets will allow for a better understanding of the Earth's climate, officials say. The countrys aim is also to inspire schoolchildren and spur its science and technology industries, which, in turn, will enable the Emirates to tackle critical issues like food, water, energy and a post-petroleum economy.
* The UAE, made up of seven emirates including the capital Abu Dhabi and freewheelRead More – Source