History was made in the UAE last night after the Hope Probe reached Mars’ orbit after a seven-month journey.

After launching from Tanegashima Island in Japan in July 2020, the Hope Probe travelled 493.5 kilometres to the Red Planet.

As noted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, there was “a 50 per cent success rate; though the failure rate is 50 per cent” of the probe entering Mars’ orbit.

The UAE became the first Arab country – and fifth in the entire world – to reach the Red Planet at 8.13pm on February 9, 2021.

Upon the success, the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa 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 the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who followed it up closely until its success.”

Sheikh Mohammed also posted a pivotal, but simple phrase on Twitter upon the probe’s success: “Mission accomplished.”

It is indeed mission accomplished.

Meanwhile, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, highlighted that this milestone is a “significant accomplishment” in the nation’s history.

“The entry of the Hope Probe into the orbit of Mars is a significant accomplishment in our nation’s history,” he said. “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.”

Celebrating the achievement

In celebration of the incredible achievement, the Burj Khalifa lit up with a proud message for the country the world’s tallest building calls home.

“Congratulations to all Arabs,” the message said. “Congratulations to the UAE. A great beginning to the next 50. Mission accomplished.”

What’s next?

The probe is being spearheaded by the UAE in order to gain a full picture of what the atmosphere of Mars is like.

Since the probe has now reached the Red Planet, data will be collected over a two-year period, but this could be extended by another two years meaning the Hope Probe has the potential to be in space until 2025.

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Feature Image: @concretestudioae Instagram