2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: UAE Mars mission launch in Dubai 2/2
By Lisa Barrington DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars reached the red planet and entered orbit on Tuesday after a seven-month, 494 million kilometer (307 million mile) journey, bringing it allowed to start sending data. about the Martian atmosphere and climate. The Mars program is part of the UAE’s efforts to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its dependence on oil. The United Arab Emirates Space Agency, the fifth in the world to reach the planet, even has a plan for a settlement on Mars by 2117. “Contact with #HopeProbe has been established again. Insertion into the orbit of Mars now it is complete, “said the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center. , where the ruler of Dubai and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi were present to receive the news. The attempt had a 50% chance of failure, said the ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. To enter the orbit of Mars, the probe needed to burn about half of its 800 kg (1,760 pounds) of fuel on board to slow enough not to overshoot, the most dangerous part of the trip. “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in Arab history … of confidence in our ability to compete with other nations and people,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted after the probe entered orbit. “The United Arab Emirates will celebrate its Golden Jubilee with science, culture and inspiration because our goal is to build a model of development.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of independence from Great Britain and the founding of the UAE federation, which groups seven emirates, including Dubai. Probes to Mars launched by China and NASA just after the UAE took off in July will also hit the planet this month. MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE The Emirates Mars mission, which has cost around $ 200 million, launched the Hope probe from a Japanese space center. Its goal is to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes. The Minister of State for Advanced Technology and chair of the UAE Space Agency Sarah al-Amiri told Reuters it would take a few weeks to start collecting a combination of data and images, which could be publicly available from September. “It is an effort to develop capabilities and talent in the country, it is something that has never been done before in terms of using a planetary exploration mission to do this,” he said. The UAE first announced plans for the mission in 2014 and launched a National Space Program in 2017 to develop local expertise. Its population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, lacks the scientific and industrial base of large space nations. Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati in space in 2019 when he flew to the International Space Station. To develop and build Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) worked with American educational institutions.