The United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Sunday, successfully launched its ‘Hope’ Mars mission from Japan, becoming the first Arab country to explore other planets.
UAE’s Mission ‘Hope’ to Mars was Tanegashima Space Center in south of Japan using a Japanese H-IIA rocket. The development comes after the launch suffered a week’s delay due to bad weather conditions as it was originally scheduled for launch on July 15 to mark 50th anniversary of its unification/amalgamation of several sheikhdoms into ‘UAE’.
The probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit in 2021, enabling the inclusion of UAE into an elite club of few countries such as Russia, USA, India European Space Agency who have executed successful Mars missions
UAE leader Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to social media to announce the successful launch of the Mars ‘Hope’ Probe.
“We proudly announce the successful launch of the Hope probe,” he tweeted.
The launch marks a significant progress in UAE’s space program as the country had only previously launched satellites back in 2009 and 2013 with South Korean partners.
However, the country’s space agency was only founded back in 2014 and has already set an ambitious target of establishing a colony on Mars by 2117.
The US$200 million dollar ‘Hope’ Mission will pursue the following objectives after completing its 493 million kilometers journey;
Study why Mars is losing its upper atmosphere to space by tracking the behaviour and escape of hydrogen and oxygen, the building blocks of water
• Investigate the connection between the lower and upper levels of the Martian atmosphere
• Create the first global picture of how the Martian atmosphere changes through the day and between seasons
• Observe weather phenomena, such as dust storms, changes in temperature, and how the atmosphere interacts with the topography
• Reveal the causes of Martian surface corrosion
• Search for connections between today’s weather and the ancient climate of the red planet