After launching successfully a few weeks ago, the Emirates Mars Mission has completed its first space manoeuvres and is on track for Mars.
The Hope Probe fired its six Delta-V thrusters to correctly point the space craft on the right course.
The thrusters will fire another six or seven times en route to Mars. But there’s still a long way to go. Some 493 million km in fact!
But, says project director, Omran Sharaf, the Emirates Mars Mission has already exceeded expectations.
“This was a major milestone for us, not only because it is the first time we have deployed the spacecraft’s Delta-V thrusters, but also because it defines our path to cruise to Mars. Hope has exceeded our expectations and is now on target to reach its Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI), requiring less adjustment to its course than we had originally planned.”
High fives – socially distanced, of course – to all the team involved!
Study the Mars atmosphere
The Hope Probe will study the atmosphere on Mars for two years from a high altitude position, taking in vital weather readings across a full Martian weather cycle.
Crucially, these spacecraft readings will help UAE scientists find out why Mars changed from a warm and wet planet to the cold, barren place it is today.
The Hope will take an elliptical orbit approach from 12,400 miles to 27,000 miles above the surface. This will give scientists a global view of the weather, conditions and changes in temperature.