UAE again postpones Mars Mission ‘Hope Probe’ 

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The new launch date will be announced in 24 hours, the UAE government tweeted on Wednesday. — File photo
The new launch date will be announced in 24 hours, the UAE government tweeted on Wednesday. — File photo

ABU DHABI — The UAE's Hope probe launch has been delayed again due to the foul weather in Japan. The new date will be announced in 24 hours, the government's communications office said on Wednesday.

After a 48-hour delay from the original liftoff time and date of 12.51 a.m. on July 15, the probe was to have taken off at 12.43 a.m. on July 17 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.

The Emirates Mars Mission has a launch window that extends to Aug. 3.

A top official had on Tuesday said that the revised liftoff date of July 17 was subject to another delay if weather conditions remained unstable.

"Is there a chance for further delay? Yes, there is always a chance," Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission, said during a virtual briefing.

The team will target the earliest launch opportunity. "We have a three-week launch window. The weather in Japan has been very unstable. There is a lot of flooding. For a rocket launch, it's not just about the rain and wind, but also about cloud density, humidity and many different factors that we need to assess," said Sharaf.

The launch window till Aug. 3 represents the time when the Earth is closest to Mars, he explained.

Weather plays a central role in ensuring a safe rocket launch to space due to its impact on the upper atmosphere.

Japan has been reeling under devastating rains and flooding, mainly in the southwestern-most island of Kyushu. According to weather forecasts, heavy rainstorms are expected to continue in southern and central Japan. — Agencies


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