All eyes and ears awaited the fate of the Emirates Mars Mission this evening, as the Hope Probe (Al-Amal) closed into Mars for the most crucial part of the mission — the Mars Orbital Insertion. Landmarks across the Emirates turned red to commemorate this special event in the year the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.
We at Sun & Sand Sports congratulate the United Arab Emirates on this momentous occasion.
The Emirates Mars Mission was announced in 2014, with ongoing design reviews from 2015 to 2017. Development and assembly began in 2018, with testing in 2019. While most Mars missions take between 10 to 12 years to develop – the UAE scientists had just 6 years to carry out this project, proving that achieving the impossible through sheer grit, determination and perseverance is possible.
“We as a people do not know despair, and we do not know the impossible.”, said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, when revealing the name Hope Probe (Al-Amal).
The six-year lead-up to the launch involved the Hope science team, which is predominantly 80% women, working with the global science community to develop a Mars science program completely from scratch, which in turn led to the development of an entirely new division.
The UAE launched the Arab World’s first interplanetary mission on 20th July 2020, using a Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima spaceport in Japan.
The Hope Probe covered 493 million km over a 7-month period (200 days) and will orbit Mars for a whole Martian year (687 earth days). The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) Hope Probe, will be the first to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers. The mission will shed light on the longstanding mystery of how Mars lost much of its early atmosphere and liquid water, transforming from a potentially habitable planet to the barren world we see today. The Hope Probe will orbit Mars until 2023, with science operations extended into 2024.
The UAE is ever striving to be its creative, competitive and innovative best. Hope is the latest of several major advances made by the UAE space program, notably after 2019, where Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Emirati to go into orbit to the International Space Station. For the Mars mission, the UAE approached the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) to understand how a UAE probe could usefully research and add to the current state of knowledge.
The Hope Probe is regarded as a vehicle for inspiration – to push further and to dream bigger. Its success will create a massive change and a positive impact at home, inspiring a new generation of space scientists. Al-Amal will accelerate the ambitious plans of the UAE to become a hub for technology and science while continuing to work with world-class researchers and encourage more leaps of faith among its people.