The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced plans to launch a space vehicle to explore the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
The UAE space agency said an unmanned spacecraft must begin a five-year journey from 2028 and travel 3.6 billion kilometers to reach the main asteroid belt beyond Mars.
“The mission will carry out its first planetary approach in orbit around Venus in mid-2028, followed by a close orbit to Earth in mid-2029,” noted the UAE public body in a statement.
According to the statement, the mission will observe its first asteroid belt in 2030, and is expected to observe a total of seven more before landing on an asteroid located 560 million kilometers from Earth in 2033. In February 2021, the Emirates had placed their “Amal” probe around the orbit of Mars, becoming the first Arab country to achieve such a feat, several months after sending the first Emirati astronaut into space.