Emirates Mars Mission: Hope probe lines up historic Mars manoeuvre


History beckons for the United Arab Emirates as it seeks on Tuesday to place a probe around Mars.

The Hope spacecraft, launched from Earth seven months ago, is about to reach the decisive moment in its long journey – orbit insertion. Currently moving at over 120,000km/h (75,000mph), it must fire its braking engines for 27 minutes to be sure of being captured by the planet’s gravity. Success would enable Hope to begin its mission to study Mars’ climate. “We’re entering a very critical phase,” said project director, Omran Sharaf. “It’s a phase that basically defines whether we reach Mars, or not; and whether we’ll be able to conduct our science, or not. “If we go too slow, we crash on Mars; if we go too fast, we skip Mars,” he told BBC News.(BBC)…[+]