UAE makes history: Sheikh Khalifa hails Hope Probe success

The Hope Probe’s arrival at Mars marks the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations

ABU DHABI: The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Tuesday congratulated UAE citizens and residents and people of the wider region for the successful arrival of the UAE’s Hope Probe’s at Mars in the first-ever Arab interplanetary mission that marks the Arab world’s entry into the global space exploration race.

The UAE made history on Tuesday (February 9) as the first Arab nation, and the fifth in the world, to reach Mars after the Hope Probe successfully entered the Red Planet’s orbit at 7:42pm.

The probe overcame the most critical part of its mission, the Mars Orbital Insertion (MOI) that involved reversing and firing its six Delta V thrusters to rapidly reduce its speed from 121,000km/h to 18,000km/h. During the 27-minute critical phase, the contact with the probe was kept to a minimum.

Hailing the historic breakthrough, 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 from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who followed it up closely until its success.”

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He also praised the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in extending all the support needed to make the dream come true.

“Thanks to both leaders and the team of scientists and engineers behind the project for proving to the world that the UAE is capable of achieving the impossible.”

Sheikh Khalifa hailed the space project, which was the outcome of solid institutional collaboration and a bold vision that aimed to serve mankind and the international science community.

The Hope Probe is the first of three exploration missions to arrive at the Red Planet in February. China and the US are leading ambitious projects to Mars, scheduled to arrive on February 10 and February 18 respectively. The Hope Probe’s arrival at Mars, after travelling 493 million kilometres in a seven-month journey in space, marks the UAE’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

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