The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday declared plans to send a test to land on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter to gather information on the origins of the universe, the most recent project in the oil-rich federation’s ambitious space program.
A successful landing would see the UAE join an elite club of the European Union, Japan and the United States, which have finished the accomplishment. The test would stay behind on the asteroid, communicating back to Earth data on the composition of the asteroid as long as its batteries stay charged.
The project focuses on a 2028 launch with a landing in 2033, a five-year journey in which the rocket will travel some 3.6 billion kilometers (2.2 billion miles). The spacecraft would have to slingshot first around Venus and afterward the Earth to build up sufficient speed to arrive at an asteroid nearly 560 million kilometers (350 million miles) away.
It’s as yet being talked about what information the Emirates will gather yet the mission will be a much more noteworthy challenge that previous ones, given the shuttle will travel both close to the sun and a long way from it, said Sarah al-Amiri, the seat of the UAE Space Agency and a minister of state for advanced technology.
“Because this comes on the back of the Emirates Mars mission, it is several factors harder, rather than exponentially harder,” al-Amiri told The Associated Press. “If we went to get this mission done from the get-go without having the background that we currently have from the Emirates Mars mission, it will be very difficult to achieve.”
Some 1.1 million realized asteroids course in the solar system, the leftovers of its development, as indicated by NASA. Most orbit the sun in the area between Mars and Jupiter focused on by the planned Emirati mission. Their composition incorporates the building blocks of the world we currently know.
The UAE’s Space Agency said it will collaborate with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado on the project. It declined to quickly offer an expense for the work or portray what specific features of the asteroid it wanted to examine. Al-Amiri said conversations are ongoing with regards to what gear the rocket will carry, which will thusly influence what highlights it can observe.
The project comes after the Emirates successfully put its Amal, or “Hope,” test in orbit around Mars in February. The car-size Amal cost $200 million to fabricate and launch. That excludes operating costs at Mars. The asteroid mission probably would be more costly, given its challenges.
The Emirates intends to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024. The country, which is home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, additionally has defined the goal-oriented objective to fabricate a human colony on Mars by 2117 — yet its more prompt objective is working out both a private and state-backed space economy with its projects.
“It is difficult. It is challenging,” al-Amiri said of the asteroid project. “We fully understand and comprehend that, but we understand the benefits of taking on such large, challenging programs and projects.”