MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The unmanned orbiter Hope, designed by the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Space Agency, will be sent to Mars in July 2020 from Japan, becoming the first mission to Mars from an Arab country, Yuichi Yamaura, Vice President of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said on Wednesday.
"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," Yamaura said during the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi, as quoted by the Khaleej Times newspaper.
The Hope orbiter program aims to extend the knowledge about Martian climate and atmosphere. A total of 150 engineers and scientists are expected to be working on the project by 2020.
The UAE Space Agency was created in 2014, after the country’s authorities announced their aim to become the first Arab country to send an orbiter to Mars.