All You Need to Know About the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt

  • Publish date: Monday، 29 May 2023
All You Need to Know About the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt

The United Arab Emirates Space Agency has revealed the details of its plans to launch the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) that lies between Mars and Jupiter.

The UAE first announced its plans on the six-year ambitious journey to the main asteroid belt in 2021.

"We will never cease to look ahead; we will never cease our efforts to develop a brighter future for our young generations," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said in a statement on Sunday.

Here is all what you need to know about the daring new mission:

The spacecraft name

The EMA spacecraft will be named after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; it will called the MBR Explorer.

The launch and arrival dates

The MBR Explorer will be launched in 2028, arrives on its first asteroid in 2030, and will follow an orbital path allowing it to pick up speed from several planets along the way. 

Its aim

The spacecraft will aim to study seven asteroids, and even land on one of them, an asteroid called (269) Justitia.

The other six asteroids names 

The rest of the mission manifest includes flybys of the asteroids (10254) Westerwald, (623) Chimaera, (13294) Rockox; (88055) 2000 VA28, (23871) 1998 RC76, and (59980) 1999 SG6.

The landing date 

After passing by the six asteroids, the mission will try to land on 269 Justitia in April 2034, with a small lander that will deploy from MBR Explorer. 

Why Justitia?

Justitia may have organic molecules on its surface that could form life in the right circumstances. 

Gravity assistance

To reach the belt between Mars and Jupiter, the spacecraft will use gravity assistance from Venus, Earth and Mars to save on fuel, and to do side observations to test their instruments.