The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars reached the entered orbit on February 9 after a seven-month journey. With this feat, UAE has become the fifth country to reach the red planet. It is the first Arab state to achieve this milestone.
“After 7 continuous years of hard work and persistence, as we achieve the dream with the UAE’s historic mission as the HopeProbe completed its Mars orbit insertion,” tweeted the official handle of UAE Space Agency.
“The HopeProbe’s historic journey to the Red Planet doubles our joy as it adds to a year of celebrations in the country to mark the Golden Jubilee of the UAE,” added the UAE Space Agency.
Emirates Mars Mission, which has cost around $200 million. The UAE Space Agency launched the probe “Hope” from a Japanese from the Tanegashima Space Center in July 2020. The space probe will begin analysing weather patterns in the lower atmosphere and find the reasons for climate change on Mars.
Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and others involved in the project worked with Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The project also received support from Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of California, Berkeley.
UAE’s Mars mission is part of efforts of the state to diversify its oil based economy. The project will enrich Emirati engineers’ knowledge of the Martial environment and contribute towards advancing the state’s scientific and technological progress. UAE also aims to establish the first settlement on Mars by 2117.
“The entry of the Hope Probe into the orbit of Mars is a significant accomplishment in our nation’s history. This achievement was made possible by the Emirati pioneers whose work will inspire future scientists and engineers for generations. We are immensely proud of them,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a tweet.
The probe also demonstrated the leadership and scientific achievements of women in UAE. Around 80% of the scientists working on the mission are women with Sarah Al Amiri as Chair of UAE Space Agency and Minister of State for Advanced Technology.
“We’re immensely proud of our achievement. A journey that began from the desert dunes is now embracing space. This is a Nation whose leaders believed & invested in a generation that today led us to Mars.A new chapter is born, bringing Arabs to the forefront of science & innovation,” said Deputy Deputy Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The space agencies around the globe, including NASA and European Space Agency, congratulated UAE Space Agency for successfully reaching the red planet.