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UAE celebrates launch of first Arab interplanetary mission

Blast off for UAE’s mission to Mars as Emirates become first Arab nation to launch an interplanetary expedition

  • The unmanned spacecraft launched from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center
  • Dubai’s Burj Khalifa lit up just before the launch with a 10-second countdown  
  • It is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE 

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its ‘Hope’ probe to Mars – the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation.

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates.

Meanwhile, the command and control centre at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) – which spearheaded the Mars project on which some 450 people worked, more than half of them Emirati – was abuzz with excitement.

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its ‘Hope’ probe to Mars – the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates

The UAE Mars mission's deputy project manager, Sarah al-Amiri, said it was 'an indescribable feeling' to witness the rocket launch

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates

The UAE Mars mission’s deputy project manager, Sarah al-Amiri, said it was ‘an indescribable feeling’ to witness the rocket launch.

‘This is the future of the UAE,’ Amiri, who is also Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, told Dubai TV from the launch site.

‘We are waiting for the moment of separation and the first signal… I thank the UAE for this opportunity,’ she said.

‘Hope’ – or Al-Amal in Arabic – has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space.

Emirati men claps as they watch the launch of the "Amal" or "Hope" space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Emirati men claps as they watch the launch of the ‘Amal’ or ‘Hope’ space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

'Hope' - or Al-Amal in Arabic - has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space

‘Hope’ – or Al-Amal in Arabic – has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space

Emiratis are pictured at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the expected launch

Emiratis are pictured at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the expected launch

A screen broadcasting the launch of the "Hope" Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

A screen broadcasting the launch of the ‘Hope’ Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

‘A message of pride, hope and peace to the Arab region, in which we renew the golden age of Arab and Islamic discoveries,’ the government of the UAE, which is made of seven emirates including the capital of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said on Twitter.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions.

It is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up in support of the United Arab Emirates "Hope" Mars probe

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions 

While the mission objective is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in Mars’s atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs, the UAE wants the project to serve as a source of inspiration for Arab youth, in an often volatile region.

”Hope’ belongs to millions of young people in this region who long for progress, inspiration & opportunity; it’s a direct challenge to those who continue to suppress these aspirations,’ tweeted Hend al-Otaiba, director of strategic communications at the UAE’s foreign ministry.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk