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Launch of first UAE Mars mission on Japan rocket may be delayed by bad weather – officials

Launch of first UAE Mars mission on Japan rocket may be delayed by bad weather – officials

Final preparations for the launch from Japan of the United Arab Emirates’ first Mars mission were underway on Monday, although there was a chance of a delay because of bad weather, AP reports.

The liftoff of the UAE’s Mars orbiter named Amal, or Hope, on a Japanese H-IIA rocket is scheduled for early Wednesday from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. This will be the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.

A final decision will be made on Tuesday before the rollout of the rocket, according to Keiji Suzuki, launch site director for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. A seasonal weather front was expected to cause intermittent lightning and rain over the next few days, he said.