Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) made history as its first-ever interplanetary Hope Probe mission successfully entered orbit around Mars on Tuesday.
According to CNN, UAE’s first mission to Mars arrived at the red planet on Tuesday and successfully entered orbit on its first attempt. The Emirates Mars Mission, known as the Hope Probe, sent back a signal confirming it’s in orbit.
“Success! Contact with #HopeProbe has been established again. The Mars Orbit Insertion is now complete,” according to a tweet from the mission’s Twitter account at 11:16 am ET (9:46 pm IST).
When the spacecraft arrived, the Hope Probe marked the UAE as only the fifth country in history to reach the red planet and the Arab nation’s first interplanetary mission.
Hope Mars Mission
The Hope Mars Mission is considered as the biggest strategic and scientific national initiative announced by UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2014.
“I am grateful for the performance of the spacecraft, and what has made this mission remarkable, Becky, it is not only the 200 Emiratis working on this, but it is the 450 people from different continents, and from different backgrounds and beliefs. This is truly an international endeavour, and this is what science needs to be. This is what exploration is all about,” said Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, deputy project manager for the mission and UAE’s the minister of state for advanced sciences.
She also added that “today marks our celebration for a golden jubilee, and 50 years of coming from a country with relatively no infrastructure to now a country with an orbiter around Mars.”
The probe, along with its three scientific instruments, is expected to create the first complete portrait of the Martian atmosphere. The instruments will collect different data points on the atmosphere to also gauge seasonal and daily changes, CNN reported.
This data will provide scientists with an idea of the climate dynamics and weather in different layers of the Martian atmosphere and will further shed light on how energy and particles, like oxygen and hydrogen, move through the atmosphere and how they even escape Mars.
UAE interplanetary missions
The Hope Probe is the first of the three UAE interplanetary missions. All three missions launched around the same time due to an alignment between Mars and the Earth on the same side of the sun, making for a more efficient journey to Mars. Of the other two missions, Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive on February 10 and Perseverance on February 18, reported CNN.
“Congratulations @HopeMarsMission on your safe arrival to Mars’ orbit! Your bold endeavor to explore the Red Planet will inspire many others to reach for the stars. We hope to join you at Mars soon with @NASAPersevere,” tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.