Making history as the first Arab nation to partake in interplanetary space travel, the UAE began an almost 500-million-kilometer-journey to Mars yesterday, following the launch of its homegrown Hope Probe. Taking to Twitter following the launch, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, wrote “we proudly announce the successful launch of the Hope probe.” Noting that the first signals from the probe had already been received by the ground control station in Dubai, he continued “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.”
نعلن بحمدالله نجاح إطلاق مسبار الأمل .. نجاح إرسال أوامر التحكم للمسبار من مركز العمليات في الخوانيج .. نجاح عمل أنظمة الملاحة الفضائية والتحكم.. نجاح إطلاق الألواح الشمسية .. نجاح نظام الدفع للمسبار .. بدأنا رحلة ال493 مليون كم نحو الكوكب الأحمر.. اللهم هوّن سفرنا.. pic.twitter.com/3vA9gtNnas
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 20, 2020
Alongside the tweet written both in Arabic and English, the Dubai Ruler shared a poignant video documenting the UAE’s relationship with the study of space. From archived footage to present-day operations, the 2-minute video showed the journey of the Hope Probe, from conception to launch. With over 286 thousand views at the time of writing, the video has received a number of congratulatory and celebratory messages from members of the public, expressing their pride and joy over the UAE’s achievement.
Having launched atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan in the early hours of Monday morning, the Hope Probe is now on a 200-day journey to Mars. Traveling almost 500 million kilometers with a cruise speed of 121,000 km/hr, it will enter Mars’ orbit in time for the 50th anniversary of the UAE’s unification. Once there, the Probe will spend around two years circulating the Red Planet in a bid to study its atmospheric and chemical properties. “The data gathered by the probe will add a new dimension to the human knowledge,” said Sheikh Mohammed in another tweet posted in advance of the launch. “This is our latest contribution to the world.”