UAE launches its first mission to Mars

UAE launches its first mission to Mars

The United Arab Emirates' Hope spacecraft launched Sunday on a journey to Mars. Hope will now have to spend 7 months travelling through space until February 2021 to put itself into an elongated orbit around Mars.

"This Hope mission will be a push to the business with space-related technology", Siddiquie was quoted as saying in the Khaleej Times report. Besides purchasing the H-2A launch from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, MBRSC partnered with several universities in the United States, such as Arizona State University, the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado. It will be the first interplanetary mission by a Middle Eastern country.

UAE has also put three Earth observation satellites into orbit - two developed by South Korea and launched by Russian Federation and the third was developed by the UAE and launched by Japan. "If a young nation like UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, then we can do much more as a region".

It has an ambitious plan for a Mars settlement by 2117.

The Amal spacecraft, along with its launch, cost $200 million, according to Omran Sharaf, the UAE project manager. "No doubt, this will open a new chapter in the glorious history of the UAE, where new frontiers in space travel will be explored", Mustafa Al Husseiny, an Emirati, was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times. Learning more about the weather on Mars, it's incredible dust storms, and the changes that are still happening to its atmosphere could help inform future missions, including crewed efforts to set up temporary (or perhaps permanent?) scientific facilities on the planet.

The launch of the UAE's Hope probe made global headlines as it achieved its first objective - to bring an inspiring and positive story from the Arab world. "It was, for us, more of an internal reinforcement of what the UAE is about".

Unlike the two other Mars ventures scheduled for this year, it will not land on the Red Planet, but instead orbit it for a whole Martian year, or 687 days.

Mission Hope took off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan at around 4:00 am IST and the probe successfully detached from the rocket after 30 minutes. The U.S. plans to send a rover named Perseverance to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth.

The launch also received coverage in The Times of Israel, which described the mission as "a source of inspiration for Arab youth, in a region too often wracked by sectarian conflicts and economic crises".

Currently, there are eight active missions exploring Mars - some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface.

Japan has its own Mars mission planned in 2024.

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