Will Russian Corona Virus Vaccine be a success?

Although the novel coronavirus cases continue to rise at terrific rate across the globe, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Russia’s Sechenov University is making bold headlines around the globe, as Russian scientists tout it to be one of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine.

The researchers claimed that Russia might be one of the first countries in the world to develop a coronavirus vaccine as it has completed the tests on volunteers. In some other news, UAE is also working closely with scientists on a type of Covid-19 Vaccine which has already shown some successful results.

The clinical trials were started in mid-June and the first group of 18 volunteers and the second group of 23 volunteers were injected with the first dosage of the vaccine candidate at the Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. All the volunteers, who were between the age of 18 to 65, had spent 28 days in isolation, in order to prevent them from contracting other infections. They will be monitored for 6 months after their discharge as well.

Vaccine may be available by August 12-14

According to a report, the Russian scientists are hopeful to launch the world’s first corona virus vaccine by mid-August as Alexander, who is the director of Gamalei center, is hopeful that the vaccine candidate will ‘enter civil circulation’ by August 12-14. He further added that mass production of the same by the drug makers may begin by September 2020.

UAE MARS MISSION “HOPE PROBE”-Delayed

The Emirates Mars Mission is a planned space exploration mission to Mars set to launch the Hope orbiter on 17 July 2020, after being delayed from the original 15th-July set date

The Mars Hope Probe is an autonomous spacecraft built by the UAE. It is due to launch in July 2020 and reach the Red Planet in February 2021. Scroll through to see more amazing unmanned space probes from around the world.

Engineers at work

The UAE’s Hope spacecraft was scheduled to blast off today (July 14) from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan aboard an H-IIA rocket before the weather interfered. The launch is now targeting Thursday (July 16) at 4:43 p.m. EDT (2043 GMT), according to a statement from the mission’s official Twitter feed.

You can watch the launch live courtesy of the UAE Space Agency and the Dubai One news channel directly via the two organizations YouTube channel here.

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EMIRATES MARS MISSION “HOPE PROBE”

The UAE’s Hope orbiter is the Arab world’s first interplanetary spacecraft — and has jump-started science in the country.

emirates mars mission

When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced in 2014 that it would send a mission to Mars by the country’s 50th birthday in December 2021, it looked like a bet with astronomically tough odds. At the time, the nation had no space agency and no planetary scientists, and had only recently launched its first satellite. The rapidly assembled team of engineers, with an average age of 27, frequently heard the same jibe. “You guys are a bunch of kids. How are you going to reach Mars?” says Sarah Al Amiri, originally a computer engineer and the science lead for the project.

LIVE LAUNCH here: https://www.emiratesmarsmission.ae/live/

Six years on, Al Amiri beamed as she admired the country’s fully assembled Mars orbiter while it underwent tests in February. In the bright, clean room at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai, engineers were testing the car-sized orbiter before shipping it to the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. It will launch sometime during a three-week window starting on 15 July.

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) will be the first interplanetary venture of any Arab nation, but it’s not just a technology demonstrator. Once it arrives at the red planet in February 2021, the orbiter, known as Hope (or Amal in Arabic), will produce the first global map of the Martian atmosphere. And, somewhat unusually for a space mission, the EMM will release its data to the international scientific community without an embargo.

Progressing from Earth-orbiting satellites to a deep-space mission in six years is “incredible”, says Brett Landin, an engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder, who leads the mission’s spacecraft team. The UAE hired the US engineer in an unusual partnership in which the Colorado team provided both mentoring and construction expertise. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” says Landin.

But for Emiratis, space-science goals come second. Faced with economic and environmental challenges, the small, oil-rich Gulf state hopes the Mars project can accelerate its transformation into a knowledge economy — by encouraging research, degree programmes in basic sciences and inspiring the youth across the Arab states. Like major port and road ventures before it, the Mars mission is a mega-project designed to cause “a big shift in the mindset”, says Omran Sharaf, the mission’s project manager. The driver “is not space, it’s economic”, he says.

It is early days, but there are hints that it is working, says Al Amiri, who is also the country’s minister for advanced sciences. She has assembled a team of planetary scientists, who are ‘reprogrammed’ engineers, and the UAE’s top universities have in the past few years opened new degree courses in astronomy, physics and other basic sciences. Women make up 34% of the team (see ‘Women in Emirati science’) and 80% of the mission’s scientists. And the UAE government is now mulling involvement in future Moon missions and considering setting up the country’s first national grant-funding programme.

The UAE has a long way to go. Just a handful of its 100 or so higher-education institutions do research, and Al Amiri estimates that there are perhaps only a few hundred full-time academic researchers. Although the country has many engineers and technicians, “we’ve discovered we have a big shortage of scientists”, says Ahmad Belhoul, minister for higher education and chair of the UAE Space Agency, which was created alongside the Mars mission in 2014.

If they can pull off that economic transformation, it would be a much greater prize than getting data from Mars. Getting to Mars is important, says Al Amiri, but “how we get there is even more important”.