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MHI Successfully Launches the Emirates Mars Mission, HOPE Spacecraft


July 20, 2020

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) successfully delivered the Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) HOPE spacecraft developed by the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) into orbit today via the H-IIA launch vehicle F42. The launch vehicle trajectory was executed as planned, and at about 57 minutes after liftoff, separation of the HOPE spacecraft was confirmed.

HOPE will be the first probe to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers when it reaches Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.

The H-IIA launch vehicle is Japan’s flagship launch vehicle and one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world. Today’s launch was the 45th consecutive successful H-IIA/H-IIB launch, with an accumulative success rate of 98.0%.

His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, said, “The successful launch of the Emirates Mars Mission HOPE Probe today – the first interplanetary mission undertaken by any Arab nation – is a key milestone in UAE’s history. This mission exemplifies the ability of Emiratis to undertake ambitious missions. With this achievement, the UAE has become the youngest nation to successfully launch a mission to Mars within six years of project commencement. The success of HOPE Probe is a huge leap forward for the UAE's ambitious space programme.”

H.E. Hamad Obaid AlMansoori, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, said, “The successful launch of the Emirates Mars Mission "HOPE Probe" is an outcome of seamless collaboration and tireless efforts by all the teams involved. Together, we overcame the challenges, and in a remarkable feat of human ingenuity and dedication, achieved this milestone as per schedule. This mission embodies the UAE's commitment to contribute to the future of humankind through scientific exploration and knowledge-sharing. As we reach for Mars to accelerate the development of space, education, science, and technology sectors, the first Arab interplanetary mission symbolises a new era of progress for the region. ”

Naohiko Abe, Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated Defense and Space Systems at MHI, said, “I would like to express my profound appreciation to all involved in the launch campaign for their devoted support and cooperation. In particular, I greatly appreciate the continuous support and cooperation of UAE’s Space Agency and MBRSC with us over the 4 years since MHI received the contract in March 2016. Today’s launch is the second H-IIA launch for the UAE government, following the observation satellite, Khalifasat, launched in 2018. The Emirates Mars Mission targets to reach Mars in 2021 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE and I am proud that we launched successfully as scheduled today. I sincerely hope that the successful completion of the Mars mission by the spacecraft will bring hope and delight to people all around the world in the midst of this global crisis due to COVID-19. MHI values its relationships of trust we have built over the years with the UAE government and our customers and continues to provide launch services that flexibly address customers’ needs.”