Dubai- The United Arab Emirates has successfully launched its Mars-bound probe, named Hope, making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission on Sunday.
The Al Amal Probe, as it is called in Arabic, is expected to reach Mars by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.
Just over an hour later, the probe deployed solar panels to power its systems. The solid rocket booster successfully detached from the launch vehicle, and the probe has established two-way radio communication with the ground segment in Dubai.
The signals were received by the Mission Control team in Dubai’s Khawaneej, the Khaleej Times reported.
The Al Amal or Hope Probe, weighing 1.3 tonnes was launched from the H-2A rocket from Japan’s remote Tanegashima Space Center at 6:58 am Japanese time on Monday for a seven-month journey to the mars.
The probe will stay in orbit for a Martian year-to gather and send back data about the Mars’ atmosphere.
The first Arab mission to Red planet was initially due to launch on July 14 but has been delayed twice due to bad weather.
“We have lift-off. H-2A, the rocket carrying the Hope Probe to space, has launched from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan,” the official account Hope Mars Mission tweeted early Monday morning.
The Emirates Mars Mission has cost Dh 735-million(USD 200 million) project, according to Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri. The mission by an Arab nation took six years by a team of 200 Emirati engineers, scientists and researchers.