Hours ahead of its scheduled launch, here are six facts about UAE’s Hope Mars Mission

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The UAE is set to launch its first mission to Mars early on Monday, as the Hope Probe will launch from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. UAE time (2158 GMT Sunday).

Here are a few facts about the Emirates Mars Mission:

This will be the first Arab mission to Mars.

The Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million, and Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad al-Gergawi said the cost is considered “among the lowest in the world when compared with similar programs.”

The probe will travel 493.5 million kilometers into space, according to the UAE Space Agency.

The probe will not land on Mars, it will orbit the Red Planet, gathering data.

The mission’s duration is estimated to last for one Martian year (approximately two Earth years, or 687 days), according to the UAE Space Agency.

Why Mars? The UAE space agency said on its website that Mars is considered the “closes habitable planet with proximity to Earth” and that studying the evolution of the climate and geology that shaped the Red Planet could help scientists predict the future of Earth.

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