The UEA Make History with the Launch of the Hope Mars Mission

In the US, The New York Times announced "Mars Mission From United Arab Emirates Embarks on 7-Month Journey", pointing out it was "the first of three missions headed to the red planet this summer".

Omran Sharaf, the project director of Emirates Mars Mission, told journalists in Dubai about an hour and a half after the liftoff that the probe was sending signals.

The probe is equipped with ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers, along with a camera sensitive to optical and ultraviolet light. - AFP In this handout photograph taken and released on July 20, Sarah al-Amiri (L), Minister of State for Advanced Sciences of United Arab Emirates and Naohiko Abe (R), Senior Vice President, Head of Integrated Defence and Space Systems of MHI celebrate the success of the H-2A rocket launch at the Tanegashima Space Centre in southwestern Japan. "Our partners at LASP have been key to ensuring the success of the mission, delivering an extraordinary spacecraft in nearly half the time of conventional missions but also in providing the resources and knowledge we need to drive our own development of space systems engineering and planetary science", Sharaf said.

Amal, about the size of a small auto, carries three instruments to study the upper atmosphere and monitor climate change while circling the red planet for at least two years.

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The UAE has previously launched three observation satellites but had not gone beyond Earth's orbit.

Mr Sharaf said the Mars mission "sends a very strong message to the Arab youth that if the UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, they could do much more". "It's a showcase for how space exploration has become an increasingly worldwide endeavor".

But the UAE's ambitions go well beyond that, with a goal of building a human settlement on Mars by 2117. "It was, for us, more of an internal reinforcement of what the UAE is about".

This has seen Emirati engineers from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre working with partners around the world to develop the UAE's spacecraft design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities.

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The Emirates Mars Mission cost $200 million, according to Al-Amiri, and involved collaboration with American universities.

Hope is the UAE's fourth space mission and first interplanetary one.

Unlike the other two missions, the Hope probe will not land directly on Mars, but instead orbit it for an entire Martian year, equivalent to 687 days. The U.S. plans to send a rover named Perseverance to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for return to Earth. In addition to Hope, China's Tianwen-1, consisting of an orbiter, lander and rover, is now scheduled to launch on July 23, while NASA's Perseverance rover, the successor to Curiosity, is due to follow a week later. Japan has its own Martian moon mission planned in 2024.

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