United Arab Emirates Successfully Launches First Mission to Mars

United Arab Emirates Successfully Launches First Mission to Mars

The UAE has successfully launched a rocket carrying a Mars orbiter from a site in Japan.

The probe's telecom system was set up and it transmitted its first signal after it successfully separated from the launch vehicle and its solar panels were deployed with clockwork precision an hour after the launch, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launch Services, which is the launch operator, confirmed. Hope will use its onboard instruments to build a clearer understanding of Mars' atmosphere and photograph seasonal changes.

This launch will be followed in the coming days by two other Mars missions by the USA and China, while Japan has planned a Martian moon mission for 2024.

The spacecraft, which launched from Japan, is the first Mars mission originating from the UAE, and the country is extremely excited to get its foot in the space exploration door.

After two delays due to bad weather, the Amal (Hope) Probe was launched from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre just before 11pm Sunday, UK time. The Emirates have also pledged to build the first human settlement on Mars by 2117.

In 2015, Dubai created the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and became even closer to the big achievement it just celebrated; to be "a leading world-class center for space research and exploration".

First announced in 2014 by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the Mars probe has now taken off against all odds.

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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.

Roscosmos Director-General congratulated the UAE and the entire Arab world for the first ever Arab interplanetary mission.

The Hope Probe will orbit Mars for a full Martian year, studying the planet's atmosphere as well as its weather patterns.

The UAE already has nine functioning satellites in orbit, with plans to launch another eight in coming years. Scientists and researchers in the UAE hope it will shed new light on the red planet.

Japan has long collaborated with the USA and other partners in defense and space technology, and the resource-poor country has traditionally kept friendly ties with Middle Eastern countries.

On the off chance that these missions push forward as scheduled, at that point it will be a bustling February for Mars watchers. This planetary alignment happens once every 26 months, so the UAE team had to launch this year to meet the 2021 deadline.

Once it reaches the planet some time in 2021, data will be collected over a two-year period, but this could be extended by another two years meaning the Hope Probe has the potential to be in space until 2025.

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