The Hope Probe is the Arab world’s first ever mission to another planet….

The last piece of the outer structure of the Hope Probe which will be sent to Mars has now been signed by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

The two Rulers visited Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday January 5, 2020 and wrote an inspirational message to the Arab world on a metal piece. This will then be attached to the probe before it launches in July 2020.

HH Sheikh Mohammed took to Twitter to share the inspirational message with his followers that read: “The power of hope shortens the distance between the Earth and sky”.

The tweet stated that the UAE leaders hope to ‘send a message to all Arab youth that we are able to succeed and compete and that we do not lose the power of hope that can move the mountains’.

While we don’t have an exact date of launch, we know it will be sometime in July. We’re curious to know if it will coincide with the Sheikh Mohammed’s birthday on July 15.

Scientifically speaking, the July time frame was picked as this is the time Earth and Mars will be at its closest.

However, there’s still quite a distance to cover from Earth to Mars – 60 million kilometres to be exact – so the journey will take seven to nine months. It will reach the red planet by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the nation’s formation. What a great way to celebrate 50 years!

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hope probe

The Hope Probe mission, also called the Emirates Mars Mission, is the first by any Arab or Muslim-majority country. There have been only 26 successful missions to Mars from nine countries. An amazing feat for a country currently only 49 years young.

The unmanned probe will launch from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan and will join two probes already in place. The other probes come from NASA who is studying the upper atmosphere of Mars, and the other from India who is analysing the lower atmosphere. The UAE probe will study how the upper and lower layers interact with one another to complete the study.

In total, over two years of scientific data will be collected. Information which will then be used by scientist to research life for humans on Mars and other planets.

This isn’t the UAE’s first venture into space. Just last year in September 2019, Major Hazza Al Mansoori became the first Emirati astronaut in space. The astronaut went to the International Space Station for eight days before returning safely back to Earth. 

Images: Sheikh Mohammed Twitter, and Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre