The probe is equipped with ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers, as well as a camera sensitive to optical and ultraviolet light. It will be placed in an equatorial orbit that allows it to observe how conditions in the lower atmosphere change over time. “It covers all regions of Mars at all local times of Mars, and it is a global understanding that fills the void of changes through time through the different seasons of Mars throughout a year,” he said. Al Amiri said.
The UAE mission is just the first of three missions to Mars planned for this month as Earth is particularly close to Mars. Next is the Chinese Tianwen-1 mission to place a 530-pound lander and rover on the planet. Designed to verify the geology of the Red Planet, it is equipped with six instruments, including a weather station, a magnetic field detector, and a ground-penetrating radar. The launch of this mission is scheduled for July 23.
Then on July 30, the United States and Europe will launch the March 2020 mission, complete with the 2,315 pounds Perseverance rover. It is designed to land on Mars in February 2021 and collect several dozen samples at promising sites. These will be collected in 2026 by NASA’s Sample Retrieval Lander (SRL) mission, and brought back by a rocket called the Mars Ascension Vehicle.