The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has selected Japan’s H-2A launcher for the Emirates Mars Mission's (EMM) Hope spacecraft. This order for the EMM marks MHI's fourth overseas contract for its launch services.
Hope is expected to be launched in the summer of 2020 and is set to reach Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. The scientific objective is to perform a comprehensive analysis of the Martian atmosphere and climate over a period of two to three years, generating data that would complement NASA’s Martian mission.
The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) takes administrative and financial responsibility for the EMM, and MBRSC is responsible for leading the design and development of Hope, as well as the execution of all phases of EMM, which includes technical coordination with the H-2A launch vehicle.
The previous three orders received by MHI from overseas customers involved the 2012 launch of the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-3 (KOMPSAT-3) for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the 2015 launch of the TELSTAR 12 VANTAGE communications and broadcasting satellite for Telesat Canada, and launch of the KhalifaSat for MBRSC, planned in 2018.
MBRSC, or the former Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST), was created by the Dubai Government in 2006. The Space Centre is working to develop the science and technology sectors in the region, which include research and development in satellite manufacturing and systems development, and Earth observation through satellite images.