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Emirates Launch First Mars Probe with Help from UC Berkeley

23 Jul 2020, 11:12 UTC
Emirates Launch First Mars Probe with Help from UC Berkeley
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The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Spacecraft prior to shipment to Dubai and the Tanegashima Launch site, with fully deployed solar panels and instruments visible (facing the floor) measuring nearly 5 meters across. (Credit: MBRSC/Ken Hutchison)

by Robert SandersUC Berkeley

At 2:58 p.m. PDT today (Sunday, July 19), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) successfully launched an interplanetary probe — the first by any country in the Arab world — thanks, in part, to science collaboration, training and instrument components provided by the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL).

The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe is scheduled to arrive at Mars in February 2021 and spend two years orbiting the “red planet,” providing an unprecedented global view of the Martian atmosphere. It will also give scientists greater insight into how our Earth may have evolved and enable greatly improved weather forecasting to help support future human missions to Mars.

The mission is led by Emirati engineers and scientists, with significant sharing of expertise and technical knowledge by colleagues at UC Berkeley and three other U.S. institutions — the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University — jump-starting an interplanetary space program in a nation that, ...

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