MBR Explorer: UAE Plans Space Mission to Explore Asteroid Belt
After a successful mission to Mars, the Emirati space agency is planning a tour of the debris field between Mars and Jupiter, with a focus on one of its most intriguing objects.
Building off the success of its Hope spacecraft, which is still circling and studying Mars, the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday plans for an ambitious follow-up mission: a grand tour of the asteroid belt.
The asteroid belt mission was the right amount of challenge, said Sarah al-Amiri, chairwoman of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency. Interesting science relevant to the science community, good opportunities for collaboration.
The spacecraft, named MBR Explorer after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, is scheduled to launch in 2028. In February 2030, the spacecraft will arrive at Westerwald, a 1.4-mile-wide asteroid, zipping past at 20,000 miles per hour on its way to visit six more objects in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.