The UAE probe mission to land a spacecraft on an asteroid betwixt Mars and Jupiter to retrieve data on the origins of the universe was announced on 5th October 2021 by the UAE Space Agency. The UAE probe mission is the newest project in the confederation’s striving space program.
The UAE probe mission
A fruitful landing would witness UAE joining an esteemed club of the United States, the European Union, and Japan, who have already established a similar endeavor. The spacecraft is destined to remain behind the asteroid, conveying essential information on the constituents of the asteroid back to Earth.
The UAE probe mission aims at a 2028 launch and will be expected to land in 2033 post launching. This 5-year journey will allow the spacecraft to travel around 2.2 billion miles. It will initially need to catapult around Venus and then the Earth to gain sufficient speed to grasp onto an asteroid that is around 350 miles away.
Sarah al-Amiri, the Minister of State for Advanced Technology & Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, stated that discussions and meetings are still at a-go; about what nature of data the Emirates will retrieve. However, the UAE probe mission will be a more challenging endeavor than its previous ones. This is because the spacecraft will have to traverse near and away from the Sun.
The UAE probe mission comes behind the Emirates Mars mission and because of this the former mission will face several factors that are exponentially difficult, al-Amiri said to the Associated Press. Owing to the research and data linked to the Emirates Mars mission, the UAE probe mission will be guided satisfactorily, al-Amiri stated.
According to NASA, approximately 1.1 million asteroids are known to circumnavigate the entire solar system. These asteroids have been identified as the remains of the solar system’s formation. Several asteroids orbit the Sun in space betwixt Mars and Jupiter. This is the space that is targeted by the Emirates for its probe mission. The compositions of these asteroids reveal essential data associated with the invention of the world and Earth alike.
The UAE Space Agency will partner with the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics for the UAE probe mission.