UAE spacecraft blasts off from Japan in Arab world's 1st Mars mission
Hope's arrival in February 2021 is set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE's formation. Around 200 days from now, the spacecraft will reach the Mars orbit and begin its mission to study the Red Planet's atmosphere
Emiratis brimmed with joy and pride as the UAE made history on Monday by successfully launching its spacecraft 'Al-Amal', or Hope Probe towards Mars from a Japanese launch centre, marking the Arab world's first interplanetary mission, according to media reports. Al-Amal, weighing 1.3 tonnes, was launched from the H-2A rocket from Japan's remote Tanegashima spaceport at 1.58 am local time.
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. The signals were received by the Mission Control team in Dubai's Al Khawaneej.
The solar panels will charge the batteries of the spacecraft for its 4,95,000,000 kms journey to Mars, it said. Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence and Remote Working System, said COVID-19 was the "biggest" hurdle that the Emirates Mars Mission team had to overcome.
Hope's arrival in February 2021 is set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE's formation. Around 200 days from now, the spacecraft will reach the Mars orbit and begin its mission to study the Red Planet's atmosphere.
The total cost of the project
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