UAE leaders review Mars ‘Hope Probe’ launch days before historic lift-off

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The UAE leaders reviewed the Hope probe’s pre-flight preparations days before its historic launch to Mars from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center in the first ever Arab interplanetary mission, according to the Emirates News Agency WAM.

Through a video meeting on Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Dubai and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), were briefed on the range of technical tasks overseen by the space mission’s team.

The leaders reviewed the final technical and logistical checks of the Hope Probe, which will provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere.

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The video meeting was held with the Emirati launch team in Japan and 21 engineers from the UAE Space Agency and MBRSC stationed at the mission control room in Dubai’s Al Khawaneej.

“In 1976, the late Sheikh Zayed met NASA experts because space was his ambition. Today, you are making his dream come true,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, addressing the launch team in Japan.

He said that “The young capacities and engineers who have learned and reached to this stage today is what the whole project is about,” read the statement carried by WAM.

For his part, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan conveyed regards from the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan to the team in Japan, saying “We are certain that we will live up to the trust and confidence of our ancestors who established this home for us and granted us stability, prosperity and bright future.”

Addressing the team, THE Crown Prince of Dubai said, “We look forward to celebrating the first transmission from the Hope probe together when it begins its journey to the Red Planet. The Mars data gathered by the probe will be a scientific discovery dedicated for the benefit of humanity.”

Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during the video meeting on Saturday. (Twitter/via @DXBMediaOffice)
Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during the video meeting on Saturday. (Twitter/via @DXBMediaOffice)

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The lift-off of the “Hope” probe had been postponed for 6:5 8a.m. Monday (21:58 GMT Sunday) from Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan, following the multiple delays caused by the unstable weather conditions on-site.

The team at the ground station in MBRSC in Al Khawaneej are set to monitor the Hope probe’s journey to Mars from the launch to the day it enters the Red Planet’s orbit.

In the first 30 days, the team at the control room will take round-the-clock shifts to control the probe and record its first transmission. The control room will receive data once the probe is released from the rocket and the two solar panels will be deployed to charge the spacecraft’s on-board batteries.

The UAE will be the first Arab nation to embark on a space mission to the Red Planet in a journey that contribute to the international science community as a service to human knowledge.

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