UAE's Hope probe to Mars encapsulated for lift-off
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UAE’s Hope probe to Mars encapsulated for lift-off

UAE’s Hope probe to Mars encapsulated for lift-off

The unmanned probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit on February 2021

The Emirates Mars Mission – Hope Probe spacecraft was encapsulated into the vehicle payload in the run-up to its lift-off from the Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC) in Japan on July 15.

All testing and checks leading to the full launch and the mission are currently being carried out.

The capsule has been positioned securely onto the rocket. The team continues to monitor the stages of the Probe, followed by joint operations with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to trickle-charge the spacecraft and set it for takeoff. This stage also included functional tests of the spacecraft subsystems, along with electrical power, communication, altitude control, command and control, propulsion, thermal control and software systems, Dubai Media Office reported.

The encapsulated probe has been transferred to another building where the rocket [first and the second stage] and the launch pad are located.

The mounting of the spacecraft onto the rocket involved a complete monitoring of the interface points, after which the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) and the Arming Plugs were firmly sealed.

About an hour after the launch, the Probe will separate from the launch rocket, launch its solar panels and begin the seven-month journey towards the Red Planet using a propulsion system.

The encapsulation precedes the probe spacecraft being mounted on top of the rocket that will carry it into the Martian orbit. Prior to the Probe being placed inside the capsule, it was covered with thermal sheets to protect it against dynamic temperature and pressure variations during its cruise.

The launch is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 12.51am UAE time from the Tanegashima Space Centre.

Read: Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe to launch on July 15

The unmanned probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit on February 2021. The team will continue to monitor and test ahead of the final countdown, which begins 16 hours before the scheduled liftoff.

Omran Sharaf, Emirates Mars Mission project manager, said: “The encapsulation and mounting of the capsule onto the rocket are one of the key milestones of the mission. It is an intricate process, which encompasses technical evaluations, system verifications and validation and examining every single aspect of the spacecraft.”

A team of Emiratis is leading the operation and supervising every aspect of the Probe’s preparation ahead of its launch.

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