After having been delayed twice last week due to bad weather, the UAE’s Mars Mission was finally put back on track, launching successfully today at 1:58 am UAE time from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan.
The UAE’s Mars Mission is an ambitious venture and a major leap for the country’s involvement in the space sector.
“More than 150 Emirati engineers, researchers and scientists have worked on the mission since its inception six years ago with a budget of AED 735 million ($200 million),” The National notes.
The probe is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE.
Commenting on the event, H.E Khalifa Al Mansour, ADX Chief Executive said:
“With the Emirate “Hope Mars” Mission launched to space today, this is the Arab world’s first inter-planetary mission that is taking off for a seven-month journey to study the dynamics in the Martian atmosphere. By building up the Emirati capabilities in the field of interplanetary exploration, we are pushing our limits to make new discoveries. Our young nation is creating a brand-new industry that is transforming our science community. “Hope Mars” is opening new frontiers of possibility for our youth and inspire them to pursue space science. “Hope Mars” will enter the Red Planet’ orbit in 2021 and it will coincide with our nation 50th anniversary. By prioritizing such an ambitious advanced agenda, the mission put our country in orbit to build scientific knowledge as our sustainable, future proof economy will be knowledge-based economy. The mission acts as a catalyst and a stimulating dynamic that is establishing our country as a beacon of progress in the region. At ADX, we congratulate the team from the UAE who conceived, designed and built Hope Mars and we are enthusiastic supporters of an initiative that will propel our country’s holistic growth to a higher orbit”.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), said:
“Hope Probe is a symbol of hope and a beacon of inspiration for the present and future generation of Arab youth to explore careers in science, engineering, mathematics and technology that will open up new frontiers of innovation and economicy possibility for our region.”
“It can be recalled that only 10 months ago, the UAE has sent its first astronaut into space. And now, as the Hope Probe blasts into space in the early hours of July 20, we look at the sky and wish it all the best as we share in the collective accomplishment of the UAE and the source of pride of every Emirati. Congratulations UAE! Onwards to Mars and beyond!”
TikTok joined in on the festivities, launching its #HopeMarsMission hashtag challenge and calling on people in the UAE (and beyond) to express their love for the history-making mission and share what it personally means to them, through unique content. From intergalactic-themed fashion statements to Mars-inspired artworks, the TikTok community is invited to take their creativity to astronomical new heights. A specially created, space-themed sticker called ‘Spaceman’, will also be available for international users on the platform to simulate being in space to celebrate the UAE’s pioneering mission.
The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is the UAE’s first mission to Mars. The Hope Probe is designed to orbit Mars and study the dynamics in the Martian atmosphere on a global scale, and on both diurnal and seasonal timescales. Using three scientific instruments on board of the spacecraft, EMM will provide a set of measurements fundamental to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere. Combining such data with the monitoring of the upper layers of the atmosphere, EMM measurements will reveal the mechanisms behind the upward transport of energy and particles, and the subsequent escape of atmospheric particles from the gravity of Mars.
The UAE craft is one of three missions heading to Mars this month, the BBC explained, with surface rovers in the late stages of preparation at both China and the US.