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UAE sets out to discover the planet Mars

In barely 40 days, the UAE's Hope probe will leave Earth's soil to reach Mars, launching the first ever Mars mission for the United Arab Emirates and the Arab world.

The scientific objective of the mission is to analyze the weather conditions on the Red Planet. This is an objective pursued by many space researchers, such as NASA, with the Perseverance Rover mission, China, with Tianwen-1, and ExoMars, born of a collaboration between the European and Russian space agencies. However, Sarah Al-Amiri, UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Science, proudly claims to be “the first to use meteorological satellites on Mars” to better understand the Red Planet’s climate.

 

On a larger scale

However, beyond the whole scientifical aspect, the real desire of the region is to accumulate knowledge and create opportunities in order to offer better prospects to its population, with youth in the lead. The project is part of the country’s desire to diversify its economy, to rely less on services, logistics, and oil and gas, and to create more opportunities for researchers, engineers, and scientists.

International cooperation

The mission will begin on 14 July and is expected to reach March in February, in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the UAE. While the project is planned, managed, and 100% funded by the UAE, it also involves the cooperation of international partners such as the Universities of Colorado, Berkeley, and Arizona.

Thus, next summer, the ship will launch from one of the two launch bases in Japan (the Emirates do not yet have their own infrastructure). As a reminder, the Emirates have already launched two satellites and sent their first astronaut, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, to the International Space Station last September.