The United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe to Mars captured its first image of the Red Planet 1 million km into space as it continues its journey toward the planet.
“We received the Hope probe’s first sighting of its destination, Mars, after the spacecraft travelled one million km into space. Beyond the sky is where our dreams start,” Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tweeted on Wednesday.
We received the Hope probe's first sighting of its destination, Mars, after the spacecraft travelled one million km into space. Beyond the sky is where our dreams start. pic.twitter.com/jN7MBxKa7U— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) July 22, 2020
The UAE launched on Monday the Hope Probe in a landmark mission to Mars, the first in the Arab world.
The rocket carrying the probe took off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center, marking the beginning of an almost 500 million kilometer journey into space.
The probe is expected to reach Mars in the first quarter of 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since its unification.
Once Hope Probe successfully reaches Mars, the UAE will join the exclusive club of spacefarers that have landed on Mars, alongside the US, Russia, the European Union and India.
The UAE’s Mars Mission’s duration is estimated to last for one Martian year (approximately two Earth years, or 687 days), according to the UAE Space Agency.
(Al Arabiya English’s Tuqa Khalid contributed to this report)