UAE launches HOPE Mars Mission from Japan, first by an Arab nation
New Delhi : The United Arab Emirates on Monday morning launched first Arab space mission to Mars from Japan. The mission has been named HOPE and is aimed at exploring the atmosphere at the Red Planet.
The Japanese rocket carrying the probe developed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan right on schedule at 6:58 am local time (2158 GMT Sunday).
Earlier, the mission was delayed twice because of bad weather, but on Monday everything went smooth for it.
Approximately after one hour of the rocket launch, people in Japanese control room were seen applauding as the probe successfully detached.
"The launch vehicle trajectory was executed as planned and separation of the Hope spacecraft was confirmed," rocket manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said.
The iconic building Burj Khalifa also celebrated the moment as it was lit up with the 10-second countdown before the launch.
"This mission is an important milestone for the UAE and the region," said Yousuf Hamad AlShaibani, director of the UAE's Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, at a post-launch press conference in Japan.
"It has already inspired millions of youth regionally to dream big and work hard to achieve what seems to be impossible," he said.
"Hope" is expected to enter Mars orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.
Like other Mars missions, it will not land on the planet and will rotate in the orbit for one Martian year i.e. equivalent to 687 earth days.