Bold new mission to asteroid belt will study Venus and seven unknown worlds The United Arab Emirates announces plans for an ambitious journey across the solar system.

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The United Arab Emirates announced plans for an ambitious trip across the solar system.

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The UAE will fly to the asteroid belt via Venus.

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hot on the heels of Hope Mars MissionThe United Arab Emirates has announced that it will begin building another interplanetary probe for launch in 2028, aiming to visit Venus and seven worlds in the asteroid belt over the next 12 years.

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The mission, announced Tuesday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, will perform a flyby of another planet from the Sun to hell in mid-2028, circling the planet on its way past Earth and toward the asteroid belt. . It will be built over the next seven years, and it will rack up more than 3.6 billion kilometers (over 2.2 billion miles) in its journey.

“The UAE is committed to making meaningful contributions to space exploration, scientific research and our understanding of the Solar System.” tweeted Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on Tuesday.

The mission will aim to explore seven objects in the asteroid belt, a region of space between Mars and Jupiter that is surrounded by millions of odd-shaped rocks that orbit the Sun. Objects within the belt have been studied by space agencies such as NASA in the past, but the UAE’s ambitious mission will aim to image seven asteroids – and then touch one to collect a sample.

If all this is achieved, the United Arab Emirates will become the fourth country to touch the surface of an asteroid. It will not be easy.

“The mission is five times more complex than that of the EMM,” Sarah bint Yusuf Al Amiri, chair of the UAE Space Agency, said in a press release.

Like the Hope mission, the UAE agency will work with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The name of the mission will be announced later.

Venus has become an increasingly popular target for space missions over the past year. NASA plans to launch two spacecraft to the planet, and both India’s space agency and the European Space Agency are preparing their own investigations to find out.

While many Venus explorers have been discussed over the years, much hype has been made about its potential habitability. A 2020 study found elevated levels of phosphine – a gas associated with life on Earth – in the cloud deck of the planet Hothouse. Since publication, the findings have been disputed and the data has been re-analyzed, with a June 2021 study showing that the planet’s atmosphere is too dry to support microbial life.

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