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Sheikh Mohammed announces the UAE's first space mission

Sheikh Mohammed announces the UAE's first space mission

Hope for Mars...

Editor: Fleur Beach


Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid unveils details of the UAE, and the Arab region's, first space mission to another planet. Find out why the probe has been named 'Hope' and what the mission task is here...

The UAE is to become the first Arab nation to send a mission to another planet. The Mars mission probe will be carrying the hopes of the country and all Arab countries, so it is only appropriate that Hope (Al Amal in arabic) is its name, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said during his announcement yesterday which also unveiled the blueprints and plans for the mission:

"Sheikh Zayed was the hope of the UAE and the UAE is the hope of the region," said Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. "Our generation is the hope of Arabs and Muslims, so the choice of the name for the probe is Hope."

There are 75 Emirati scientists and engineers involved in the space project, which will see the UAE become the first Arab country to send a mission to another planet. A fact that could inspires others in the region. Sheikh Mohammed said that mission contains three important messages to world. Firstly that Arab civilisation was once influential and crucial to human knowledge and growth "and will play that role again." Secondly, a message of inspiration to the UAE's Arab "brethren" that nothing is impossible: "The third is for those who strive to reach the highest of peaks: set no limits to your ambitions and you can even reach space," said Sheikh Mohammed.

The ambitious project will see the unmanned Hope travel for about 200 days at speeds of up to 40,000kph on its journey of 60 million kilometres. The technical stage is now complete and the team of experts are beginning to shift into the design and testing stage. The probe isn't scheduled to depart from Earth until 2020. Its primary mission is to study changes in the Martian atmosphere throughout its daily and seasonal cycles. One of the critical questions it will seek to answer is why the planet's atmosphere has been decaying into space to the point that it is too thin for water to exist on the surface. Hope will transmit more than 1,000 gigabytes of Mars data back to Earth, to be studied and shared with at least 200 institutions worldwide. 

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