Inspiring "Hope" in the Next Generation of Scientists with a Mars Mission


Have you read the recent news about the Mars 2020/Perseverance rover preparing to touch down for an historic mission? There are three active missions to Mars. Aviation Systems has a direct connection to one of those missions – the first to enter Mars’ orbit.

Enjoy this firsthand account of our work on the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft written by Electron Devices Devision’s Adam Miller, Program Manager of Space Programs:

As ground controllers rose in applause for Hope, a small spacecraft which entered the Mars orbit on Feb. 9, 2021 the celebration continued at our EDD headquarters locations in Torrence, Calif. Hope’s communication systems includes two EDD traveling wave tube amplifiers which are critical components to the success of the orbit insertion.

Hope is the first spacecraft to reach Mars following three July unmanned spacecraft launches. China’s Tianwon-1 landed on Mars on Feb. 10. NASA’s Perseverance rover, scheduled to land on Feb. 18, is also supported by L3Harris’ avionics and communications technology from our Integrated Mission Systems segment.

Hope’s mission to Mars was an effort between the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder and United Arab Emirates. The UAE also collaborated with researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Arizona State University. Hope’s Martian orbit marks the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.

Hope, known as Amal in Arabic, launched in July 2020. Its elliptical orbit will allow the exploration of Mars’ atmosphere across the entire surface of the planet and all seasons of the year. The first set of data is expected to be released in September.

TWT amplifiers have supported space missions for more than 50 years and will orbit the red planet as a primary component of Hope’s communication systems. The UAE is looking to Hope to ignite a new generation’s interest in space and science and as a space program manager, so am I.