A robotic probe owned by the United Arab Emirates is preparing to jump into Mars orbit on Tuesday after launching from Earth last year. For mission managers in Dubai, it’s a nerve-racking climax in the UAE’s first mission to deep space. If successful, the Hope probe will survey the Martian atmosphere. The Emirati cabinet hopes the mission will also inspire a new science and technology sector as the Gulf state looks to wean its economy from oil dependence.
The Hope probe launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center last July as Earth and Mars aligned in their orbits around the Sun. Now, having traveled over 300 million miles, Hope is set to carry out an intricate and fully autonomous maneuver called a Mars Orbit Insertion at 10:30AM ET….