UAE has successfully launched the Hope probe to Mars, the first in the Arab world to do so. It was launched after a memorable and historic Arabic countdown.
The launch of the probe was delayed twice due to unstable weather conditions at its embarking station in Japan before a successful launch last night. The probe will orbit Mars for - 687 days - and collect data about the Martian atmosphere and its layers.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai tweeted, “We proudly announce the successful launch of the Hope probe. The ground control station in Dubai has received the first signal from the probe after its solar panels were successfully deployed to charge its batteries. Our 493 million km journey to the Red Planet starts here.
The probe will cruise at a speed of 121,000km/hr for seven months - an entire Martian year - to reach its Martian orbit.
It will reach the red planet's orbit in February 2021, just in time to mark the 50 anniversary of the UAE's formation.
"This probe represents hope for millions of young Arabs looking for a better future. There is no future, no achievement, no life without hope," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in his tweet.
The Hope probe will travel 495 million km to space with a cruise speed of 121,000 km/hr in the first-ever Arab mission to the Red Planet. The data gathered by the probe will add a new dimension to human knowledge, this is our latest contribution to the world Sheikh Mohammed had earlier tweeted.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also tweeted. "We watched the successful launch of the Hope Probe to Mars with pride and joy, as we embark on a new chapter in space, led by our exceptional youth. Congratulations to the UAE for this historic achievement," he said.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), also took to social media to share a video of the launch along with an inspiring message: "There is no 'impossible' where there is faith and strong will."
In just under an hour after take-off, the spacecraft separated from its launch vehicle. Its solar panels were deployed to charge the probe's batteries and it transmitted its first signal, soon thereafter.
The MBR Space Centre later tweeted that the ground station at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre had received the first signal from the Hope Probe which is now heading towards Mars.
The Hope Mars Mission said, “It’s been an incredible journey so far, and we can’t wait to get there. Earth is getting farther away, as my destination gets closer”, from its Twitter handle.
Curiosity Rover which calls itself a friendly neighborhood NASA Mars rover, has been exploring the Red Planet since 2012 under a team headquartered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It sent the Hope probe a congratulatory tweet.
As did NASA's, Perseverance Rover.