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LAUNCH OF UAE’S HOPE MISSION TO MARS, July 19, 2020, 5:58 pm EDT [July 20 local time at Tanegashima, Japan]


Update, July 17:  The UAE Space Agency announced the launch will be on July 20 at 1:58 am UAE time, which is July 19, 5:58 pm EDT.  At the launch site in Japan, the time will be July 20 6:58 am.

The launch will be livestreamed by the UAE Space Agency as well as by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which builds the H-IIA rocket.

Update, July 16:  The UAE Space Agency says the launch will take place between July 20 and 22, depending on weather. Details will be announced in due course.  Those dates presumably reflect the local time at the launch site in Japan, which would make it July 19-21 EDT.

Update, July 15:  The launch has been delayed again because of continuing weather instability at the launch site.  A new date will be announced within 24 hours.

Update, July 14:  The launch has been delayed because of bad weather at the launch site.  The new launch date is Thursday, July 16, at 8:43 pm GMT (4:43 pm EDT), which is Friday, July 17, 5:43 am at the launch site in Tanegashima, Japan and 12:43 am in the UAE.

Update, July 11:  The launch will be livestreamed.

Original Entry: The first planetary spacecraft owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be launched on a Japanese H-IIA rocket on July 14, 2020 at 4:51:27 pm Eastern Daylight Time (July 15, 5:51:27 am local time at the launch site in Tanegashima, Japan; July 15, 12:51:27 am in the UAE).

The spacecraft, Hope, is intended to orbit Mars and study the planet’s atmosphere.  The UAE’s Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is managing the project for the UAE and will control the spacecraft.  Hope will enter Mars orbit in 2021 coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee of the Union.  The UAE was established on December 2, 1971.

More information on the probe’s science payload is on the Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM’s) website.  The Laboratory for Atmopsheric Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder is a partner on the mission.  LASP built the spacecraft and along with Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley had a role in developing the scientific instruments.  Kenneth Chang of the New York Times published an informative article about the program on February 15, 2020.


July 19
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm