UAE successfully launches its first interplanetary mission to Mars

Katie Ramirez
July 25, 2020

The solid rocket booster successfully separated from the launch vehicle, and the probe has established two-way communication with the ground segment in Dubai, CNN reported.

This launch will be followed in the coming days by two other Mars missions by the United States and China, while Japan has planned a Martian moon mission for 2024.

The Amal Mars Mission or Hope Mars Mission is the first ever interplanetary mission to Mars led by any West Asian, Arab or Muslim majority country.

The liftoff of the Mars orbiter was initially scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed due to bad weather at the launch site.

"All of us at NASA are excited about the prospects for ambitious future partnerships with the UAE in low-Earth orbit and, via the Artemis programme, on and around the Moon with the ultimate destination of Mars", he said.

In 2015, Dubai created the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and became even closer to the big achievement it just celebrated; to be "a leading world-class center for space research and exploration".

This will be the first time for the UAE to orbit on Mars. On July 23rd, China intends to launch a Martian orbiter, a lander and a rover to the Red Planet.

"Don " t miss the historic launch moment of the UAE " s Hope Probe to Mars live on Monday, July 20, at 01:58:14 UAE timing. #FirstArabicCountdown", the SMS read.

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In a statement, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the UAE, noting that the mission is "aptly named" because it is an inspiration, not just for the UAE but, also for the region and the world.

A Sharjah-based Pakistani student, Syeda Sherbano Shah, congratulated the UAE visionary leadership, all Emiratis and expats for the successful, elegant and innovative space technology and the launch of 'Hope Probe'.

Mr Sharaf said the Mars mission "sends a very strong message to the Arab youth that if the UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, they could do much more".

The probe will travel 493 million kilometres into space in a journey that will take seven months and will orbit the Red Planet for one full Martian year of 687 days to provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere.

His Highness also shared an impassioned video with his 10 million Twitter followers, showcasing the UAE's lengthy history with the study of space, which features discussions with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the nation.

A new mission to Mars is now underway.

As NPR's Joe Palca reported last week, China and the USA are also expected to launch new Mars missions this month or early next. So the launch had to happen this Summer in order to make it in time.

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