Scientists working on the Hope Probe
Scientists working on the Hope Probe Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE’s Hope Probe will be launched in a couple of days and this will mark as a major turning point in Arab history, declared the Emirati engineers behind the first Arab interplanetary mission during a virtual Press briefing on Sunday.

Hope Probe, which will begin its journey to Mars on July 15 at exactly 00:51:27am (UAE time) from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre (TNSC), is touted as the first true weather satellite at Mars.

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Emirati engineers giving updates on Hope Probe launch during a virtual Press briefing on Sunday. 12th July 2020. 12th July 2020. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

It will provide a complete view of Martian atmosphere and will help answer key questions, including the loss of hydrogen and oxygen into space. The mission will help scientists understand the weather and learn how Mars lost some of its atmosphere over billions of years of its planetary history.

Emirati engineer Hamad Al Hazmi, while responding to a question from Gulf News, said: “Hope Probe is a true testament to the efforts by Emiratis, Arabs and Muslims.

Hamad Al Hazmi

“This is a major turning point in the UAE’s past 50 years and (what it will achieve) in the next 50 years,” he underlined.

Al Hazmi described the Hope Probe as a scientific mission that is a symbol of hope for hundreds of millions of people across 56 Arab and Islamic countries.

“No one would have thought that an Arab or Islamic country would reach this level. The UAE has opened a new horizon and we are proud of this achievement,” he underlined.

Al Hazmi also noted that the UAE was looking forward to bigger space missions. Hope Probe is part of the UAE’s ambitious goal to build a human settlement in Mars by 2117.

Zakareyya Al Shamsi, deputy project manager of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), also said every Emirati is proud of Hope Probe.

“This is a first for the whole Arab world and we hope this will bring a lot of change and inspire more Arabs to [pursue the quest] for more knowledge. We hope this will inspire our generation to be more passionate about learning and we hope they are proud of us,” he added.

Stronger Arab world

Omran Sharaf, the EMM project manager, had earlier said that the space mission would lead to a ‘more competitive’ Arab world economy and a stronger integration with global society.

Omran Sharaf

“We are actually building the capacity and capability in advanced sciences in the UAE and the region. This is something important for everyone. It will help the region to have stability and a more competitive economy and integrate more with the global community,” he explained.

He also assured that the mission would inspire the region to be more innovative, creative and knowledge-based.

“That’s why the UAE called the mission ‘Hope’ as it will make such an impact, but you cannot measure it today or tomorrow, you will see it in 10 or 15 years," said Sharaf. He added: “The Hope Probe would serve humanity in many different ways, especially by sharing data openly without any restrictions with more than 200 institutions across the world.”

Historic countdown

The launch of Hope Probe will also mark the first such occasion in history when countdown for a space mission will be done in Arabic.

“With a voice that will make history, the Hope Probe to Mars will be launched with the first Arabic countdown ever,” Dubai Media Office tweeted earlier.

“Our voice will echo our ancestors' legacy and a vocie will make history with the first Arabic countdown,” statement in a video released by EMM said.

All systems go

According to the weather forecast, it will continue to rain and be cloudy for the coming week, but it’s now 'all systems go' at the launch site as all tests have been concluded, according to the EMM team in Japan.

The encapsulated Hope Probe has been transferred to another building where the rocket [first and the second stage] and the launch pad are located.

The mounting of the spacecraft onto the rocket was also done and the multi-layer insulation (MLI) and arming plugs were firmly sealed.

Apart from the Emirati engineers at TNSC, another team of engineers will be at the operation room of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Al Khawaneej, who will wait for the first contact with the Probe after the lift-off on July 15.

Where to watch

The launch will be streamed live on