UAE launches its first Mission to Mars

The United Arab Emirates has launched its first ever mission to the red planet It aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.  The Hope Probe was launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center. Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with US educational institutions to build the Hope probe for Mars.

Around an hour after launch the probe deployed solar panels to power its communication and other systems. The MBRSC space centre in Dubai will oversee the spacecraft during its 494 million km journey at an average speed of 121,000 kmph. Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri informed that the Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million.

After the launching of its National Space Programme in 2017, UAE already has an ambitious plan for a Mars settlement by 2117. Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati in space in September of 2019 when he flew to the International Space Station.

There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface. China and the United States each plan to send another by the end of 2020.