Tuesday, February 20

Launch of Emirates First Mars Trip Delayed for Two Days

The first Martian probe of the United Arab Emirates will not be launched on Tuesday, but on Thursday at the earliest.


The satellite al-Amal (Arabic for hope) is said to take off Tuesday from space base Tanegashima in Japan, but the weather there is too bad. That is why the Emirates and aerospace company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has decided to postpone the launch.

The next possibility is Thursday, reports the state news agency of the Emirates, WAM. Early next year, the satellite must orbit Mars. It would be the first Arab mission to another planet.

The al-Amal has to map the weather on Mars for two years. The al-Amal must also help to clarify how hydrogen and oxygen disappear from the thin atmosphere of Mars.

It flies into space so that Mars no longer has a chance at life like on Earth. But the mission is mainly intended to put the Emirates on the map. The country sees science and technology as a source of income for the future when oil runs out.

The United Arab Emirates has had its own space agency since 2014, and last year a man from the country went to space for the first time. Astronaut Hazza al-Mansouri spent about a week at the International Space Station.

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