According to a senior scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, the UAE’s ambitious Mars mission to establish the first human settlement on the planet by 2117, in collaboration with major international space agencies, would be feasible if a methodical approach is followed.
“I hope we’ll get there,” said Dr. Lori Glaze, NASA’s Administrator of the Planetary Science Department, at a virtual briefing on Sunday with a small group of UAE journalists, arranged by the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi as the countdown to the formal launch of the UAE Mars Satellite, Hope Probe, began.
The UAE Mars Mission
The Probe, the first ever interplanetary Arab spacecraft to support Mars research and space exploration, is also expected to take off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at 00:51:27 UAE time on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
Dr. Glaze, though, explained that “there is a lot of work ahead of us before we are very able to send people to Mars. I think it’s really important that we take a methodical approach where we make sure we take one step at a time.”
The first step in that direction, the scientist explained, will be to return samples from Mars to demonstrate that humans can go to Mars and actually come back from there. And then prove the ability to bring heavier spacecraft to Mars to return.
The UAE’s Mars Mission will support the current attempt by the U.S. Mars mission to find solutions to an significant scientific question that will also help us explain the World, said Dr. Glaze.
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, MAVEN, probe entered the orbit of Mars in 2014. And seeks to study the upper atmosphere of the red planet.
“We know that Mars had a much denser atmosphere at one time in the past. It was cooler and weatherier on the surface of Mars. So MAVEN is still doing some similar types of tests [as is Hope Probe], looking at how the atmosphere escapes,” said Dr. Glaze.
On July 11th, Omran Sharaf, Emirates Mars Mission Project Director. He told WAM that Hope Probe will also have the first holistic view of the Martian atmosphere. At various times of the day and during various seasons.