UAE’s Mars Mission Already Faces Success

Katie Ramirez
September 4, 2020

Hope Mars probe was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 6:58 a.m. on Monday.

To develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai's Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with USA educational institutions.

The Amal orbiter, developed together with scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University, will arrive in orbit around Mars in February 2021.

Its success immediately triggered vast jubilation across the UAE.

This is the first of three separate planned missions to Mars scheduled to take place during July, including a launch of a Mars orbiter and lander from China set to take place later this week, and NASA's Mars Perseverance rover mission, which is now planed for July 30. The Gulf country's president said the spacecraft, known as Hope, is a historic accomplishment for the UAE.

Some voices from the space agency of the United Arab Emirates had even said that the Hope mission is for the survival of the whole Middle East.

Two other Mars missions are planned in coming days.

From a report on the Sydney Morning Herald, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has released a live feed during the launch.


Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber, meanwhile, foreshadowed "something that's really revolutionary with the UAE in setting up in-space research centers", plus an announcement "in the next few months" on a space farming plan with implications for food security here on Earth. "They wanted something to be delivered quick, fast, and something that we can share with the rest of the world, about how they can approach missions". The countdown to takeoff was done in Arabic for the first time in history.

The expert believes the "moral value" of the mission is higher than the financial benefits. Al Otaiba asked UAE engineers who talked about their roles in the mission.

The Al Amar probe from the UAE has the specific scientific mission of taking measurements from Mars' atmosphere, with the intent of helping scientists better understand how Mars went from being a warmer world with liquid surface water to becoming the incredibly cold, rocky and dry planet we know it as today.

He praised that the development of the UAE, especially Dubai, in the past decades reflects its desire to exert influence on the world stage, saying the UAE has been "supporting charities, establishing financial hubs and free zones, and promoting tourism".

"It 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", Sharaf told The Associated Press on Sunday as his colleagues prepared for the launch.

Despite there is no official diplomatic ties between the UAE and Israel, the two countries have good bilateral relations, rarely seen between Israel and Arab states.

The UAE NOC said it wanted to mark the event by presenting a common aspect shared by sports and space through projects presented by NASA.

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