Arab brings the news of the success of the first Muslim Mars mission

Inventions Tamalika Basu
Today's Focus
الكوكب الأحمر

Philosophers down the ages have told us to dream big in order to achieve something big. A tiny country UAE from Arab followed this philosophy and recently realized what seemed to be a quite ‘impossible’ dream. The orbiter Hope from UAE’s first mission to Mars successfully reached its designated orbit at 16.00 hrs UTC on February 9th, 2021.

Hope, in other words, dream, means ‘Amal’ in Arabic. With this mission, the dream of the Muslim world reached another planet, Mars. With this, UAE registered its name as the fifth member in the elite club of countries including the USA, EU, Russia, and India who have successfully reached or land on Mars.

How this dream mission became a reality?

It was in 2014 that UAE first declared that it will send a mission to Mars to mark its 50th birthday. At that time neither had any experience nor even any indigenous space research organization. But within this short period, a team of young researchers and engineers came on board. Thus the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre was established in Dubai.

Hope was built at the University of Colorado Boulder in the USA by a team of engineers from both countries and the cost was nearly 200$. Then it was launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan on July 20th, 2020. After traversing 494 million km in the last 7 months Hope reached orbit on February 9th, 2021.

For a successful and safe entry, the probe’s velocity was decreased to only 18,000 km/hr from 1,21,000 km/hr by remotely controlling the thrust. Hope reached the designated orbit slightly before the calculated time and with its successful entry the control room filled with joy and teary eyes. In the next phase, Hope will thrust into the ‘science orbit’. Lead Muslim woman scientist of this mission, Dr. Sarah Al Amiri says, “Every celebration comes with the anxiety for the next phase and thereafter. But we are confident that we would be successful.”

What will Hope do?

The main task of Hope is to create a global space-time map of Mars. The high-resolution camera and the Infrared & Ultraviolet spectrometers on board will take pictures of every geographical region of Mars every 9 days for a full day. This kind of attempt is unique and first of its kind and this will help to make the first global weather map of Mars.

According to Sarah Al Amiri, Hope will start collecting data from May and the mission team will share the gathered data with the community from September. Analyzing the data, scientists hope to know about the weather and climate on Mars and it might shed light on the dust storm on Mars. We even might know about the emission of hydrogen and oxygen to space from Mars’s exosphere.

The holy Quoran has always advocated for the advancement of knowledge and we are heading towards a more advanced civilization in the light of it.

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