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UAE Plans to Launch Probe Asteroid Between Mars

The UAE announced its plans to send a probe to land on an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. They foresee that the probe will obtain data on the origins of the universe, the latest 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 completed the feat. The probe would remain behind on the asteroid, transmitting back to Earth information on the composition of the asteroid as long as its batteries remain charged.

The project targets a 2028 launch with a landing in 2033, a five-year journey in which the spacecraft will travel some 3.6 billion kilometres. The probe would need to slingshot first around Venus and then the Earth to gather the speed required to reach an asteroid some 560 million kilometres away.NASA said that some 1.1 million known asteroids circulate in the solar system, the sediments of its formation. Most orbit the sun in the area between Mars and Jupiter targeted by the planned Emirati mission. Their configuration includes the building blocks of the world we now know.

The UAE Space Agency said it will partner with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado on the project. It declined to offer a cost for the effort or describe what particular features of the asteroid it wanted to study.

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