Los Angeles, CA — The United Arab Emirates successfully launched it’s first mission to Mars on Monday morning. The spacecraft, Hope, took off from the southernmost tip of Japan from Tanegashima Space Center at 6:58 am (5:58 ET in the US) for a seven-month journey where it will orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.
An hour after the Hope had launched, the probe deployed solar panels in order to power it’s systems and established radio communication with the mission back on earth.
In 2014, The UAE first announced plans for the mission and launched a National Space Programme in 2017 in order to develop local expertise. With a population of 9.4 million people, most of whom are foreign workers, the country lacks the scientific and industrial base compared to those of bigger spacefaring nations.
The mission was initially supposed to launch on July 14 but was postponed due to bad weather.
According to Minister for Advanced Sciences, Sarah Amiri, The Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million.
The UAE has high ambitions for a Mars settlement by 2117.
In order to develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked together with U.S. educational institutions.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States explained, “Years of hard work and dedication have paid off in a big way.”
“The UAE’s first Mars spacecraft is now flying into space, well on its way to another planet.”
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