Al Amal – Emirates Mars Mission | H-2A-202

The UAE’s first Mars probe “Al-Amal”, or Hope, will launch from Japan atop a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-2A-202 rocket. This is one of three Mars missions to be launched during summer 2020. The U.S and China will also be launching Mars probes during the 2020 window which lasts from mid-July to early August.

Lift Off  Time
July 19, 2020 – 21:58:14 UTC
Mission Name and what it is
Emirates Mars Mission 4, the UAE’s first Mars probe
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
(Who’s paying for this?)
UAE Space Agency
Launch Location
LA-Y1, Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima Space Center
Payload mass
Hope Probe: 1350 kg (~3000 lbs)
Where are the satellites going?
The probe will enter Mars orbit in February 2021
This will be the:
  • 5th mission for the UAE Space Agency
  • 42nd launch of the H-IIA rocket
Official live stream

Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, will be streaming. Starting at T-30 minutes; Come ask questions and join the conversation live!

The H-2A-202 Rocket

The H-2A-202 is an expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.  Both its center and second stages run off of liquid fuel: with LOX (liquid oxygen) and LH2 (liquid hydrogen) being the oxidizer and fuel, respectively.  The rocket its self is designated H-2A, with the ‘-202’ part of the name denoting the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) configuration. Like the ULA Atlas V, the 202 means it has 2 SRBs strapped to the bottom of the rocket.

Image: Geoff Barrett

By NASA/Bill Ingalls – Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission, Public Domain

Al Amal (Hope) Probe

The project was started in May of 2015 when the UAE space agency contracted the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at University of Colorado Boulder to design and manufacture the probe.  The spacecraft’s primary mission is to study the climate on Mars. It will do that by studying how the lower and upper layers of the atmosphere interact with each other, as well as searching for connections between today’s Martian weather and the ancient climate of the Red Planet. According to Gunters Space Page, it will do this by using 3 main instruments:

  • EXI (Emirates exploration Imager) – An multi-band imager designed by Emirati and U.S. engineers at the University of Colorado capable of taking high-resolution images of the Martian surface, with a spatial resolution of better than 8 km in three ultraviolet (UV) and three RGB bands.
  • EMIRS (Emirates Mars InfaRed Spectrometer) – An Infra-Red Spectrometer developed by Arizona State University which will examine temperature patterns, ice, water vapor and dust in the atmosphere.
  • EMUS (Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer) – An Ultraviolet Spectrometer designed by Emirati and U.S. engineers at the University of Colorado which will study the upper atmosphere and traces of oxygen and hydrogen further out into space.

It will enter an elliptical 22000 km × 44000 km Mars orbit with a 55 day period.  The mission is planned to last until 2023, with a possible mission extension allowing for a stay until 2025.

Al Amal

For an even more in-depth look at this mission here is a slide show from JPL: JPL Slide Show for Al-Amal.

  1. Hello:

    Just a little something. I believe:

    “…with LOX (liquid oxygen) and LH2 (liquid hydrogen) being the fuel and oxidizer, respectively.”

    Should actually be:

    “…with LOX (liquid oxygen) and LH2 (liquid hydrogen) being the oxidizer and the fuel, respectively.”

    And that’s it! Thanks a lot for the info!

  2. Is there any channel planning to show the launch live in U.K., please
    Thanks for your time and trouble

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