The UAE’s Hope mission has finally left the ground in the region’s first attempt to visit our neighboring planet, after it blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center via the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket on Sunday, July 19.
The mission was originally scheduled to take place on 14 July, but was delayed a number of times to due less than ideal weather conditions
“It’s hard to put the words together but honestly, watching that take off, knowing how hard it was, knowing how challenging it was, witnessing that success made me feel immense pride,” Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said shortly after the launch during a virtual watch party. “I think every Emirati on the face of the planet should go around feeling proud of what his country has managed to accomplish today.”
The Hope mission, which cost around $200 million, is the UAE’s first attempt into inter-planetary travel. It was launched with the hope that the project would kick start the nation’s science and technology sector as the country searches for a viable economic model that could sustain the nation beyond its oil wealth, according to space.com.
Congrats to the team that worked on @HopeMarsMission. It’s truly amazing what @UAESpaceAgency & @MBRSpaceCentre have accomplished in such a short time. Hope is exactly what the world needs and thank you to the UAE & @MHI_Group for inspiring all of us: https://t.co/cZ389gpzdR pic.twitter.com/ktLsIDzWsq
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) July 19, 2020
The Hope mission will see the UAE use a probe to gather valuable information about Mars and its mysterious atmosphere. The probe itself relies on existing technology like an imager and two spectrometers to collect data, however, scientists will position the probe in a unique equatorial orbit where it will be used to provide scientists with data relating to how weather on Mars changes over the course of a day and of a year at every spot on the globe, and how the planet is losing its atmosphere.
“Years of hard work and dedication have paid off in a big way. This is a huge accomplishment, but it’s just the beginning.” Al Otaiba said.
Take a look at the historic launch below:
Image credit: Screenshot