Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Japanese H-2A rocket successfully launches UAE Mars probe


MINAMITANE, Kagoshima — A rocket carrying the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope Mars probe was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 6:58 a.m. on Monday.

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The probe successfully entered its projected orbit about 57 minutes later, according to launch operator Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

It is the fourth time a probe or satellite of a foreign nation has been launched on one of Mitsubishi’s H-2A rockets.

The rocket series has a success rate of about 97.6% with 36 consecutive launches completed successfully.

MHI wants to gain more overseas orders for launches using its H-2A rocket and the next-generation H-3 rocket, which the company aims to launch for the first time in the second half of this fiscal year.

Hope, the UAE’s first Mars probe, is expected to enter the planet’s orbit in Feb. 2021.

It will follow an elliptical orbit that at an altitude of about 20,000 to 43,000 kilometers from the surface of the planet. The probe is programmed to observe any dust, water vapor and oxygen in the atmosphere with infrared and ultraviolet sensors, and take pictures of the planet using a high-resolution camera.

The United States and China are also scheduled to send probes to Mars this month. China plans to launch a rocket around July 23 equipped with probes and a rover that will travel on the planet’s surface, while the U.S. plans to launch a rocket on July 30.

Published : July 21, 2020

By : The Japan News/ANN