Diana Farah Dubai
Engineers at Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre are preparing to carry out spacecraft and weather-related tests in the upcoming days, in anticipation of the launch of the UAE’s Hope spacecraft July 15.
Hope will be mounted on the Japanese H-IIA rocket and has already been fueled and ready to be placed in the fairing, which is an external structure the protects the spacecraft while on the rocket.
Omar Alshehhi, Emirates Mars Mission Integration and Testing Lead, speaks about the final stages of the preparation before the Hope Probe's launch on 15th July 2020. #HopeMarsMission #HopeProbe pic.twitter.com/nFihm9Kw51— Hope Mars Mission (@HopeMarsMission) July 2, 2020
According to UAE-based newspaper The National, the Deputy Project manager of the UAE Mars Mission Suhail AlDhafri said lift off will take place at 5:51 am Japan time, or 12:51 am UAE time.
AlDhafri, who is one of 15 engineers who are at the launch site, said they could not predict what the weather would be like early, but will be reviewing the weather three days before the launch.
Weather is critical in determining whether the launch of the spacecraft will go ahead. On the day of lift off, hourly weather checks will take place to ensure the rocket takes off on time.
There are several weather tracking satellites across Japan, one of them at Tanegashima island, located five minutes away from the launch site.
The UAE’s Mars Mission is in its final stage before lift off and the Hope Probe will be routinely checked until the day of the launch.