The UAE will soon be turning Arabs’ biggest dream into reality, as the countdown begins for the launch of the Emirates Mars Mission into space, making it the first-ever Arab venture to Mars.
The idea of Mars Mission was born in a ministerial retreat held in Sir Bani Yas Island back in 2014 and was fostered and overseen by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, making it an inspirational success story.
Today and after literally six years, the UAE is all set to launch its first-ever mars mission although the average timeframe set for such programmes usually takes 10 years, in itself an unprecedented achievement that will go down in history.
The UAE’s ambitions indeed know no boundaries and it is no surprise to see Emirati young cadres (27-year-olds on average), are working on the project, which paves the way for more similar feats to be made in the future.
Thanks to the UAE’s unequivocal determination and relentless efforts, the UAE has joined the ranks of countries exploring the space and is participating in conducting scientific researches, making it the Arab ambassador to space.
What makes the Mars Mission even more special is the fact that women working on the project account for 36% of the total cadres, amounting to 150 Emirati engineers and researchers who had developed 200 new designs and manufactured 66 pieces of the probe components in the UAE.
The $200 million Hope Probe will be the first probe to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers when it reaches the red planet’s orbit in 2021. It will help answer key questions about the global Martian atmosphere and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space over the span of one Martian year.
It is no secret that the launch of mission comes at a critical time where the Covid-19 pandemic is bringing the world into a standstill. However, the programme is running as scheduled, which reaffirms the effectiveness of the UAE’s precautionary measures and highlights its strong resolve that knows nothing impossible.
Despite the grave risks in such mega projects, the UAE determined to go ahead with it. The Hope Probe will take seven months to travel the 493 million kilometres (307 million miles) to Mars, in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the emirates’ union in 2021 and is designed to spend one Martian year, or about two Earth years, studying the thin Martian atmosphere.
It will be managed from a control room set-up in Dubai’s Al-Khawaneej area by Emirati youth.
Additionally, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has recently launched ‘Arab Space Pioneers’ programme that aims to build Arab expertise in space science and technologies, in yet another testament to the UAE’s enthusiasm to upgrade the Arab world and spread hope and optimism among people despite all ongoing conflicts and tough circumstances.
Unsurprisingly, the programme has until the end of last month received 11,200 entries, which shows how Arab young cadres are motivated to enhance their presence in the space sector.