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Sheikh Mohammed on Mars mission: ‘We’ve already made history’

Sheikh Mohammed on Mars mission: ‘We’ve already made history’

The mission will enter its most critical phase – the Mars Orbit insertion – on Tuesday

As the UAE’s Hope Probe reaches the final stage of its journey to arrive on Mars, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sent out a message saying the region had already “made history”.

The mission will enter its most critical phase – the Mars Orbit insertion – on Tuesday, February 9 at 7.42 pm (UAE time).

In a speech broadcast on Monday night, Sheikh Mohammed said: “Within a few hours, the Hope Probe will arrive at Mars. The biggest challenge for the Probe is to enter Mars orbit, with a 50 per cent success rate. Though the failure rate is 50 per cent, I believe success is within our grasp.

“But I say, even if we could not enter the orbit, we’ve already made history. This is the farthest point in the universe to be reached by Arabs throughout their history… More than five million working hours by over 200 Emirati male and female engineers.

“Our goal is to give hope to all Arabs that we are capable of competing with the rest of the world,” he added.

Meanwhile Dubai Crown Prince and chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the final preparations of the Hope Probe Mission team on Monday.

He was briefed about the various aspects of the Mars Orbit insertion. The Hope Probe has so far travelled 493 million kilometres in space since it was launched on July 20, 2020. Once it gets close to Mars, the spacecraft must slow down significantly to be captured by Martian gravity, reducing its cruising speed from 121,000 kph to about 18,000 kph. The Hope Probe will do an autonomous orbit insertion, using star trackers to determine its position in space.

“I was briefed by the Hope Probe team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre about the final preparations for the first Arab Mars probe’s entry into the red planet’s orbit. The team is ready for all scenarios as the Hope Probe gears up for its Mars Orbit insertion and the commencement of its scientific mission,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

“The Emirates Mars Mission’s success in reaching this crucial phase sends a message of hope and pride to the Arab world’s youth that we can accomplish great things and succeed in implementing such unique projects.”

The UAE is now the first Arab country to launch a space mission to Mars, and if the mission is successful, it will be the fifth country to reach the red planet.

Once the Hope Probe enters the Mars orbit, it will orbit the planet and start gathering up to 1,000 gigabytes of scientific data about the Martian atmosphere. The data will be shared for free with 200 scientific and academic institutions around the world.

Also read: Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe: All you need to know

 

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