Free Astronomy Magazine July-August 2015 - page 5

5
ASTRONAUTICS
rab Emirates
I
n 2014, the UAE announced plans to de-
velop a space mission aimed at putting a
probe into orbit around Mars. In recent
months an overview of this mission has
been presented, which we want to summa-
rize here, while highlighting the positive
offshoots that this initiative is already hav-
ing and will increasingly have on the so-
ciety and economy of this rich Arab state,
more eager than others to return after a
long time at making a significant contribu-
tion to astronomical knowledge. But let us
begin from the mission to Mars, that in
2020, year in which Dubai will host the
world exhibition, will see the launch into
space of a compact car-sized probe, on a
trajectory of about 600 million km, that at
a cruising speed of 126,000 km/h will reach
Mars in 2021, after a journey of 200 days.
In that year, the Emirates will celebrate the
50
th
anniversary of their formation. Once
reached the planet, the probe will go into
orbit around it and for a period of at least
two years (extendable to 4 years) it will
study the atmosphere of Mars from a rela-
tively new perspective, including the be-
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