Mission to Mars: UAE set to become first Arab nation to explore planets in space

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Mission to Mars: UAE set to become first Arab nation to explore planets in space
Mission to Mars: UAE set to become first Arab nation to explore planets in space

New Delhi : As per schedule, the Emirates Mars probe - “Hope” or “Al Amal” in Arabic - will take off on July 15, making UAE the first Arab nation to explore planets in space.

The rocket is set to blast off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center and begin a seven-month journey to the Red Planet. The probe is expected to enter the Mars orbit in 2021, when UAE will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Days before this historic liftoff, two barrier-breaking leaders, UAE Minister of Advanced Technology and Deputy Project Manager of the Emirates Mars Mission Sarah Al Amiri and Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and former Chief Scientist of NASA, offered these views on A Reason for “Hope,” the third episode of Podbridge, a new podcast series launched by the UAE Embassy and hosted by UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.

“In six short years, the Emirates Mars Mission program has created a brand-new industry that is transforming the UAE’s science community,” said UAE Minister of Advanced Technology Sarah Al Amiri. “With the support of countless international experts, we have taken an inspiration and turned that into reality by developing homegrown talent and expertise, while investing in state-of-the-art universities and laboratories. The Hope probe now sits atop a rocket ready for launch, fulfilling the UAE’s journey to Mars promise.”

“It is incredibly exciting that space exploration is not limited to simply a handful of countries with many years of experience in this field,” said Dr. Ellen Stofan, Director of the National Air and Space Museum. “We need the collaboration of the worldwide scientific community and that requires nurturing a global pool of talent. Space does not belong to one country, but to all of us. As the former Chief Scientist at NASA, I witnessed firsthand the remarkable growth of the UAE program and the Emirates Mars Mission is a milestone event that supporters of space travel worldwide should applaud.”

Minister Al Amiri and Dr. Stofan also mentioned about their journey as female trailblazers in a male dominated profession.

“To every young girl, never allow anybody to say you cannot achieve greatness. Sit at the table where decisions are made and don’t allow anyone to say you do not belong. For young Emirati women, look to Sarah Al Amiri as a role model and inspiration,” said Dr. Stofan. Added Minister Al Amiri, “For all the young women pursuing a career in science and technology, channel your inner power, seize the opportunities before you, and with that knowledge, you will create change that will transform the world.”