As part of its Emirates Mars Mission, UAE has successfully launched the Arab world’s first-ever orbiter to explore Mars. The launched probe, called ‘Al-Amal’ means Hope in Arabic.
The unmanned probe was launched from a space center in Japan on July 19th. With the launch of this probe, UAE has officially joined the race to explore Mars.
People across the world could see the rocket successfully taking off in the live feed from Japan’s space center. Nearly one hour after the launch, the probe could be seen separating itself from the rocket that carried it outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
The successful launch was celebrated in both Japan and UAE. Back home, the Emirates Mars Mission’s program manager, Sarah al-Amiri, could be seen celebrating and calling the event indescribable.
Talking to a news outlet, Sarah, who is both the program manager and the minister for Advanced Technology in UAE, expressed her feelings by saying that the mission was a huge step forward towards a brighter future for UAE.
As the Earth enters the phase when it is closest to Mars, so far 3 mars exploratory missions have been planned to launch during July 2020. Hope, being the first of three Mars exploration probes, is expected to be followed by China’s Tianwen-1 and the USA’s Mars 2020 probes later this month.
All three probes are projected to enter Mars’ orbit during February next year. Unlike the probes launched by the USA and China, the Al-Amal probe will not touch or land on Mars; instead, it will orbit it for the duration of one Martian year (687 Earth days).
Emirates Mars Mission aims to learn more about Mars’ atmosphere in hopes of understanding how the red planet transformed from a relatively warmer and wet planet to the cold and dry planet we know today. This information will be of great use to researchers in understanding the planet’s atmosphere and determining whether it is a suitable option for human civilization in the future.