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  • btc = $69 742.00 - 174.65 (-0.25 %)

  • eth = $3 806.07 52.59 (1.40 %)

  • ton = $6.48 0.17 (2.65 %)

30 May, 2023
1 min time to read

The UAE Space Agency announced its plans on Monday to begin an ambitious voyage through the debris field between Mars and Jupiter.

Following the successful mission to Mars with its Hope spacecraft, the United Arab Emirates is now preparing for a voyage to the asteroid belt.

Named MBR Explorer after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, the spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2028. Its destination is the Westerwald asteroid, measuring 1.4 miles wide. This one will be just the beginning, as MBR Explorer is about to visit six more asteroids in the asteroid belt.

One of the most interesting asteroids on the mission route is Justicia, the seventh target. This asteroid, about 30 miles wide, has an unusual reddish color. Scientists speculate that Justicia may have originated in the outer regions of the solar system and was subsequently attracted by the gravitational influence of giant planets, ending up among the asteroids.

Weighing over two tons, the MBR Explorer surpasses the size of the UAE's previous Hope spacecraft that journeyed to Mars.

"The complexity adds up," said Mohsen al-Awadhi, the program director of the mission, emphasizing the challenges involved.

Moreover, the launch window for the spacecraft is limited to a three-week period in March 2028 to be able to make all the planned flybys. Should the launch be delayed, the entire mission would need to be reconfigured.