Dubai: The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) team, led by project director Omran Al Sharaf, were given the International Achievement Award by the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) at the 2020 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, tweeted on Thursday.
Congratulating the team behind UAE Hope Probe — the first Arab interplanetary mission — Al Amiri said: “EMM has been awarded on 29 June the International Achievement Award at the 2020 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, for its success in becoming the fifth nation to reach Mars and for its impact and achievements to date.”
She added in her tweet: “I would like to thank the @BIS_Spaceflight and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation for their recognition of EMM’s contribution to the space community. The EMM team look forward to furthering their contributions with first datasets due for release on October 2021 #ReinventingSpace2021.”
BIS is the world’s longest-established organisation devoted to the international promotion and advancement of astronautics and space exploration. The International Achievement Award is given for “significant or outstanding lifetime achievement or achievements in the year by an international team or individual that either feature or further an important international aspect in an area of space activity.” The final selection and judging of the award was carried out by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation Board.
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke CBE FRAS was an English futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, science-fiction writer and science writer, most notable for co-writing the screenplay for the 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ — a trailblazing movie and one of the most influential films of all times. He was a lifelong proponent of space travel and also served as chairman of BIS from 1946–1947 and again in 1951–1953. The Sir Arthur Clarke Award is being given annually since 2005 in recognition of notable contributions to space exploration.
Mansoor Abdulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, accepted the award on behalf of EMM during BIS’s Reinventing Space event at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, London.
Hope to Arab youth
Hope Probe, which is currently orbiting Mars with a two-year science mission to obtain a complete picture of its atmosphere, was launched from Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan on July 20, 2020. Sharaf had earlier told Gulf News: “The recurring theme within the EMM is not just about sending a probe to Mars, but bringing greater hope for the region by inspiring and empowering Arab youth in the fields of science and technology.”