UAE launches a new space mission to explore Venus and 7 asteroids in the solar system, in the latest in a series of missions that fall under the projects of the 50.
07 October 2021, 12:00 AM
31 October 2021, 12:00 AM
The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced plans to explore the planet Venus before the end of the coming decade and land on an asteroid, outlining its new ambitions months after its first mission to Mars.
The new project was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
On his twitter page, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The UAE launched today a new space mission to explore Venus and 7 other asteroids in the solar system. We will also out the first Arab landing on an asteroid at the end of the 3.6 billion km journey (7 times the Hope Probe trip to Mars).
“Our space journey is still at early stages and our missions will not stop. We have projects to develop space scientists, astronauts, and spacecraft. A third of the stars in the sky had Arab names because Arabs were pioneers in astronomy. Our mission will resume our Arab civilization and if we don't act today, when will we do?” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
The spacecraft for the mission would take seven years to build, with the launch date planned for 2028. It would orbit Venus and then Earth, using gravity assist maneuvers to reach an asteroid belt object in 2030. The vehicle would then observe seven main belt asteroids, before landing on an asteroid 560 million kilometers (347 million miles) from Earth in 2033.
The mission, which will be developed with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will be slated to embark on a 3.6 billion kilometer (2.2 billion miles) journey, seven times longer than that of the UAE’s Hope probe that reached Mars in February 2021. That landing made the UAE only the second country to ever successfully enter Mars’ orbit on its first try. The first was India.