The UAE Hope mission, whose $ 200 million project was to launch a satellite into orbit around Mars, was a success. This means that the United Arab Emirates is the fifth body to reach Mars after the United States, Russia, the European Union and India.
The hope was launched last July from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, on the back of a Mitsubishi H-2A rocket. It took seven months to reach the finish line, shortly before rival missions from China and the United States.
Its mission is to revolve around the red planet and observe its atmosphere, the ultimate goal being a true understanding of Martian weather. This includes studying the global weather cycle, studying the formation of dust storms, and understanding why Mars is leaking hydrogen and oxygen.
Like NASA’s “seven-minute terror,” the Hope probe’s journey to Mars was not stress-free either. Earlier this year, officials said the probe would have to burn a significant amount of fuel to slow to the right speed, which could take up to half an hour. The risks were twofold: It would slow down too much and its orbit would break down and the probe would hit the surface of the planet. It goes too fast and the probe would go completely out.
نجاح التواصل مع # مسبار_الأمل!
تمت مرحلة الدخول إلى مدار المريخ بنجاح. # العرب_إلى_المريخ
– Hope Mars Mission (@HopeMarsMission) February 9, 2021
The chances of the missions succeeding were around 50 percent, but getting there so far was already quite successful. Last year’s advanced science minister, Sarah Al Amiri, said space research was “the future of the UAE” as it wanted to rethink itself. The country, one of the world’s largest oil producers, wants to transform its economy as a center of science and innovation as the world moves away from fossil fuels. The nation is expected to deliver a landing to the Moon by 2024 as part of this pressure, with a special focus on using local scientists and local engineers to build the probe.