The United Arab Emirates has postponed it launching of mission to Mars till July 17 due to the rough weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, Emirati government communications office announced on Tuesday.
As being reported by Reuters, the UAE’s Hope Probe was due to set off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 12:51am UAE time on Wednesday (2051 GMT Tuesday) for a seven-month journey to Mars where it was due to orbit and send back data about the planets’ atmosphere.
“The UAE’s space mission, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, will launch on Friday July 17, 2020 at 12:43am UAE time (July 16, 2020 at 8:43pm GMT) from Tanegashima Space Center,” the government communications office tweeted.
It should be noted that currently, there are eight active missions exploring the red planet; some orbit the planet and some land on the surface. China and the United States have also planned to send another two this year.
The UAE had first announced to send its mission to the red planet in 2014 as part of efforts to diversify away from hydrocarbons and develop a knowledge economy, aiming to reach the planet by 2021.
The country with a population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big space-faring nations.
To develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with U.S. educational institutions with space science expertise.
In 2017, UAE launched a National Space Programme to develop expertise in space science among its citizens.
Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati in space in September 2019 in a flight to the International Space Station.