Correct Answer : Option (B) - UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on October 5, 2021 announced plans to launch a probe to explore an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter to collect data on the origins of the universe.
If the nation manages to successfully land its spacecraft on the asteroid, it will join an elite club of nations- the US, Japan and the European Union that have successfully landed probes on either an asteroid or a comet.
This latest announcement comes after a UAE probe reached the red planet earlier this year.
Top 5 Things UAE's mission :
1. UAE's mission to the major asteroid belt between Mars are Jupiter will be a five-year journey during which the spacecraft will travel about 3.6 billion km.
2. The spacecraft will need to slingshot first around Venus and then the Earth to garner enough speed to reach the asteroid. The major asteroid belt is located about 560 million km away.
3. The UAE's Space Agency is expected to partner with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado for the project.
4. The mission will be challenging as the spacecraft will travel both near and far from the sun.
5. The asteroid mission is likely to be more expensive also in comparison to other past UAE missions, given its challenges.