UAE’s ‘Probe of Hope’ Takes Honor and Reputation to Mars

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Photo Credit: UAE Space Agency via Twitter

UAE: Mars Mission Accomplished!

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday evening joined an elite group of nations who have sent spacecraft to explore the surface of the Red Planet when the Probe of Hope reached the planet at 7:42 pm local Emirati time.

Ground Control at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai broke out in cheers.

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With the entry of the Probe of Hope into the Mars orbit, the United Arab Emirates officially became the fifth space agency to reach the Red Planet and only the third to actually land a spacecraft on the surface, after the United States and the USSR. India and the European Space Agency have successfully sent spacecraft into orbit around the planet, according to Sarah al-Amiri, minister of state for advanced technology and chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, the youngest woman ever to reach such a position.

Al-Amiri and her team had worked incredibly hard to bring this success home to their nation. But what is less well known is that in fact, women make up 80 percent of the program’s scientific team, Aysha A. Taryam, editor-in-chief of Gulf Today News and Media, pointed out in a tweet.

Some of the most valued kudos came from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, who congratulated the nation and its people in an address from mission control in Dubai, where he and other top government officials had observed the events.

“The course of life is what one generation passes to another,” he said, adding his personal thanks to mission chief Omran Sharif. “You took our honor and our reputation up to Mars,” he told Sharif.

UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai said in his address, “The arrival of the Probe of Hope marks the beginning of the celebrations of the UAE in its fiftieth year.”

This year, “our golden jubilee,” he said, “our celebrations are different… because we are trying to build a development model that tells Arab youth … we are people of a civilization.

“Mission accomplished.”

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