UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan congratulated UAE citizens and residents and people of the wider region for the success of the UAE’s Hope Probe arrival to Mars in the first Arab interplanetary mission that marks the Arab world’s entry in the global race of space exploration.
The UAE made history on Tuesday evening, February 9, as the first Arab nation, and the fifth in the world, to reach Mars after the Hope Probe successfully entered the Red Planet’s orbit, at 7:42pm, Emirates news agency WAM reported.
The probe overcame the most critical part of its mission, the Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) that involved reversing and firing its six Delta V thrusters to rapidly reduce its speed from 121,000 km/h to 18,000 km/h. During the 27-minute critical phase, the contact kept with the probe was kept to a minimum.
The UAE Leaders received messages of congratulations on the Hope Probe's successful arrival to Mars, from Kings, Presidents, and Heads of brotherly and friendly countries.
Hailing the historic breakthrough, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “This historic achievement would not have been possible without the persistence and determination to implement the idea that emerged at the end of 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who followed it up closely until its success.”
The Hope Probe is the first of three exploration missions to arrive to the Red Planet in February. China and the US are leading ambitious projects to Mars, scheduled to arrive on February 10 and February 18 respectively. Hope Probe’s arrival to Mars, after travelling 493 million kilometers in a seven-month journey in space, marks the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Now that it has entered the Martian orbit, the Probe will transition to the Science phase - transmitting its first image of Mars back to Earth within just one week.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “The Hope probe’s historic arrival to Mars is the greatest celebration of the 50th anniversary of our country. It sets the beginning of the next 50 years with boundless ambitions and dreams." He added, "Our next accomplishments will be even bigger and greater.”
“We dedicate our Mars achievement to the people of the UAE and the rest of the Arab world. Our success proves that Arabs are capable of reviving the region’s legacy and status in the scientific sphere. We mark our country’s 50th anniversary by our Mars stop, and invite Arab youth to join the UAE’s science movement that marched at high speed,” he added.
H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said: “The Hope Probe’s successful arrival to Mars is an Arab and Islamic achievement that was made possible by the relentless efforts of our youth. The mission marks our entry in the global race to space.” He added that "The probe’s arrival to the Red Planet celebrates our journey of 50 years in the best image that fits the UAE and captures its true story to the world.”
Millions of Viewers Beamed live around the world by international television stations, the Probe successfully entered the orbit of the second-smallest planet in the Solar System on February 9 at 7:42pm UAE time.
The moment was marked by a dazzling laser show on the façade of the Burj Khalifa reviewing the journey of the Hope Probe, the stages of the project, and the efforts of the Emirati scientists who participated in the realization of the country’s space dream.
As hundreds of spectators watched the stunning display, the world’s media were joined by high-level government officials and the Emirati Hope Probe team for a special briefing on the mission’s progress.
At 8:08pm, the ground control station at Al Khawaneej received the first transmission from the Hope probe, signaling the success of the mission.