UAE’s Mars orbiter liftoff on Japan scheduled for July 20

Postponed in the wake of bad weather, the liftoff of a United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter at the launch site in southern Japan is now scheduled for July 20.

The launch of orbiter named Amal, or Hope, is the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world. Initially scheduled for Wednesday from the Tanegashima Space Centre, the launch will now take place at 6:58 a.m. Monday (2158 GMT Sunday), said Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the provider of the H-IIA rocket. To be a major step for the oil-dependent economy seeking a future in space, Hope is expected to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since its formation.

However, Mitsubishi said that there is a slight chance of further postponement of the Mission on the basis of the weather and a final decision will be taken on July 19.  

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