The UAE has done it! It is officially the fifth country to reach Mars’ orbit…

The UAE and many other countries from all parts of the world tuned in tonight on February 9, 2021 to witness an important event. And it was an occasion not to be missed as the Hope probe managed to complete a crucial step – reducing its speed from 121,000kmph to 18,000kmph to successfully enter Mars’ orbit.

The Hope probe journey of 493.5 million kilometres began nearly seven months ago in July 2020 after launching from Tanegashima Island in Japan. It has been a long seven-month wait, but at approximately 7.42pm on February 9, 2021 – the Hope probe has reached its destination and is in now orbit around Mars.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces along with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai were at the UAE Mars Mission command centre to congratulate the team on the historic achievement.

Sheikh Mohammed proudly tweeted two words on the momentous occasion, ‘Mission Accomplished ‘

At the UAE Mars Mission command centre, Mohammed bin Zayed stated, ‘We congratulate the leadership and people of the UAE for this indescribable joy of the arrival of Hope Probe to Mars. We will not forget Sheikh Zayed, and this day reminds us of him. The journey to Mars began with Sheikh Zayed and his team.’ 

He later tweeted, ‘The entry of the Hope Probe into the orbit of Mars is a significant accomplishment in our nation’s history. This achievement was made possible by the Emirati pioneers whose work will inspire future scientists and engineers for generations. We are immensely proud of them.’

The Burj Khalifa – the largest LED panel on earth, beamed the news proudly with a message stating, ‘Congratulations to all Arabs’, ‘Congratulations to UAE’, ‘A great beginning to the next 50’ and ‘Mission accomplished’

Words of congratulations also poured in from around the world including NASA Mars rover.

The tweet congrats the Hope probe on arriving to Mars and quotes a famous poet, Al Mutanabbi, ‘If you ventured in pursuit of glory, don’t be satisfied with less than the stars.’

If you missed the live-action, you can catch it here below: 

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What happens now?

Now that the Hope probe has reached the atmosphere, the unmanned spacecraft will explore the climactic dynamics of the Red Planet in daily and seasonal timescales for a full Martian year (687 earth days).

The probe will gather and send back the new Mars data to the Science Data Centre in the UAE via different ground stations spread around the world. The data will be catalogued and analysed by the Emirates Mars Mission science team and shared for free with the international Mars science community as a service to human knowledge.

The insights and data we gain from understanding the Martian climate will add new dimensions to human knowledge about how atmospheres work, which will help scientists and researchers evaluate distant worlds for conditions that might support life. Understanding the geographical and climate changes of Mars and the other planets will help us gain deeper insights to find solutions for key challenges facing mankind on earth.

The probe’s successful arrival to Mars has made the UAE the fifth nation in the world to reach the Red Planet after the United States, Soviet Union, China, the European Space Agency and India.

Well done, UAE! What an amazing achievement!

Images: Supplied