The United Arab Emirates launched a new era of international voyages to Mars with their space mission named “Hope”: it is yet another example of how the host country of the forthcoming Universal Exhibition interprets the event’s general theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.
The challenge posed by the mission towards the Red Planet, the first of its kind for an Arab country, reflects the idea of enlarged “connectivity” and is consistent with the sub-themes of the Expo, namely “Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability”.
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The probe of the “Hope” mission took off from the Tanegashima space centre, in Southern Japan, at 23:58 (Italian time) on 19th July. It will take five months to reach Mars and will remain in orbit for two years, acquiring data that will be used to analyse the planet’s composition and, in particular, to measure its oxygen and hydrogen levels.
The programme of Expo Dubai, which celebrated the event with a video posted on its social media channels, will include a thematic week dedicated to aerospace, during which some of the new information acquired by Hope will be presented.
There will be other missions to Mars over the next few months, one by the United States and another by China. Then, in September 2022, it will be the turn of Exomars, the European mission to which Italy contributed substantially.