The United Arab Emirates will be the latest to participate in a mission to Mars. On February 9, its Hope Probe would rendezvous with the red planet. It would go into orbit around Mars. The mission's initial tenure is two years, and it could get an extension of another year. The orbit of Hope would be different from past spacecraft that have visited the red planet because the Arabs want to chart new waters. NASA plans to send humans to Mars and have inducted astronauts for the Artemis mission.

CNN says February 2021 will see three missions target Mars.

These are of the UAE, China, and America. Out of them, the Hope Probe will be the first to arrive. The date is February 9, and the UAE Space Agency will share live coverage of the event. It will be a red-letter day for the Arab Emirates because it will become one more country to reach the red planet. The purpose of the mission would be to map the atmosphere. Its onboard scientific instruments will accomplish this. That will help understand the seasonal and daily changes on the alien planet better. The data would be invaluable to scientists for carrying out a detailed study of Mars. The authorities confirm things are going smoothly.

The Hope team confident about its Mars mission

The chairperson at the UAE Space Agency describes the arrival at Mars as an emotional roller.

She is Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri. In her words - “Every point of the celebration is followed by several points of worry waiting for the next points of celebration." The mission team is keeping its fingers crossed. Its members are aware of the challenges ahead for the Mars Orbit Insertion phase. It is critical and risky, much like the launching stage of the spacecraft.

CNN adds that they expect Hope to take corrective action to a certain degree based on necessity. Once it is in orbit, it would establish contact with ground control through Spain's ground station. The UAE mission to Mars took off from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

February will see three missions to Mars

Scientists believe the red planet Mars might have hosted lifeforms in the past.

The terrains are rough, and the images sent back by the Curiosity rover prove the same. America already has a strong presence there through robots like Curiosity and InSight. Incidentally, the planet has an abundance of natural resources that could benefit humans. Hence, different countries have drawn up their individual plans. They might set up bases and explore the planet to unearth useful resources by using a combination of Renewable Energy, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The hope of the UAE, Tianwen-1 of China, and Perseverance of America will be on Mars in February. The first will orbit the planet, and the second will orbit the planet and land on it, while the third will land on Mars.

Once the gravity of the red planet captures Hope, it will go into an elliptical orbit. It can come as close as 621 miles above the Martian surface and as distant as 30,683 miles from it. Time taken to complete one orbit would be 40 hours.

The Hope is the UAE’s ambitious Mars mission

According to Khaleej Times, an official of the UAE Space Agency confirmed that the Hope is on the threshold of entering the Mars Orbit Insertion MOI. This is the most crucial phase of its mission. Sarah Al Amiri explained the MOI is a complex maneuver and the most critical part of the mission. This is where the probe has to decelerate to enter a stable orbit with Mars rapidly. Sarah is the Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency.

The Hope Probe launched in July 2020 from Japan and traveled for seven months. The United Arab Emirates will become one more player to reach Mars after the USA, Soviet Union, China, the European Space Agency, and India.