In DepthPlanetary Science

Small Gulf nation aims for big splash on Mars

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6320, pp. 12
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6320.12

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

The United Arab Emirates is embarking on a startlingly ambitious project: a science mission to Mars. In July 2020, the oil-rich nation aims to launch a spacecraft called Hope that will orbit the Red Planet and probe its atmosphere from top to bottom. The mission team, some 120 young Emirati scientists, is now gearing up for a critical design review. To be launched on a Japanese rocket, Hope will gradually drift relative to the martian surface once in orbit, offering researchers a global view of how the atmosphere evolves. Hope's second goal is to probe how the martian atmosphere bleeds off into space, a phenomenon that, over billions of years, has left the planet bone dry and inhospitable.

  • * Sedeer El-Showk is a science journalist based in Morocco and Finland.