UAE Mars mission gets launch date
"We are delighted to launch the UAE's Mars explorer by the Japanese launch vehicle H-IIA from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan in 2020. We are confident that we will accomplish our responsibility, together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries," said Yuichi Yamaura, Vice President, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
He was speaking on the sidelines of the second day of the Global Space Congress held in the Capital. The two-day forum, held under the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was attended by more than 600 experts and focused greatly on the future of UAE's Space programme and Mars expeditions.
Yamaura pointed out that the H-IIA rocket model will also launch the satellite, KhalifaSat into Earth's orbit by 2018, which is built entirely by Emirati engineers.
"It will be small satellites 50 kilogram and one cube sat that will be injected into space from JAXA's, international space station, launched by the Japanese rocket and reached into space," he explained.
He also added that UAE and Japan have agreed to have more collaborations in the future.
Jean-Yves Le Gall, President Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and President, International Astronautical Federation, highlighted that the Mars exploration plays a pivotal role as it could add more proof to what he states as a possibility of life on Mars.
"This exploration is very important for three reasons; first is innovation, because we are doing space in very different way to five years ago; second is cooperation, because projects need cooperation - space stations are the biggest cooperative projects between nations; and third key is aspiration, because we need to attract young generations, in my opinion aspiration is the perfect mix between all these key words."
"Aspiration of Mars in particular is important, because we know that life is possible on Mars, and the real question is how such a life exists on Earth, but not on Mars," he added.
The space experts who spoke at the Congress noted they are eager to witness what the UAE will achieve from the mission. They suggested that journey to Mars should not be disregarded after one successful round, as a possibility of human habitation on Mars could very well take place in the near future.