Mars has been the target of interplanetary exploration for years. The belief that the Red Planet once, and possibly still could, sustain life has driven many countries to spend millions constructing devices that will allow them to learn more about it.
Since the 1960s, only a handful of countries, which includes the United States and India, have been able to successfully launch a mission to Mars.
With talks of soon sending actually humans to Mars, the United States seems to be ahead of other countries when it comes to exploring the planet. While those who choose to attempt the challenge of sending a probe to Mars run the risk of failing and learning nothing new, some countries have no problem taking that chance.
It is now the United Arab Emirates’ time to test their technology and launch a probe, which will be unmanned, to Mars. Emirati scientists plan to design an orbiter, named “Hope”, which will circle Mars for four years. After being launched, Hope will remain in orbit until at least 2023. While circling, the probe will collect data and send it back to the new space center in Dubai.. The hope is that this data that is collected will help scientists better understand the atmosphere and climate of Mars and if it could in fact support life.
The motivation behind this exploration may be to collect data and learn more about Mars, but to join the list of countries who have already gained success from their launches of probes to the planet could also be a huge motivator. The U.A.E. is not known for its space explorations, so it will be interesting to see if they will succeed over other countries, such as China and Russia, who have failed in previous years. Although, they have launched multiple satellites within the past 10 years, the lack of experience in this particular area can prove to be an obstacle for the U.A.E.
Designing and building a probe for Mars is not easy, but if the United Arab Emirates is successful, they will be added to the very short list of countries who have had the privilege to study the Red Planet.