The United Arab Emirates’ “Hope” probe returned its first image of Mars, the national space agency said on Sunday, days after the spacecraft successfully entered orbit of the Red Planet.
The image “captured the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, emerging in early morning sunlight,” he said in a statement.
The image was taken on Wednesday at an altitude of 24,700 kilometers (15,300 miles) above the Martian surface, a day after the probe entered orbit of Mars, he said in a statement.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, shared the color image on Twitter.
“The first image of Mars captured by the very first Arab probe in history,” he wrote.
The mission is designed to reveal the secrets of the Martian climate, but the UAE also wants it to serve as an inspiration to young people in the region.
Hope became the first of three spacecraft to arrive on the Red Planet this month after China and the United States also launched missions in July, taking advantage of a time when Earth and Mars are closest. .
The UAE company is also scheduled to mark the 50th anniversary of the unification of the country’s seven emirates.
“Hope” will orbit the Red Planet for at least one Martian year, or 687 days, using three scientific instruments to monitor the Martian atmosphere.
It is expected to start transmitting more information to Earth in September 2021, with the data available for scientists around the world to study.
© 2021 AFP