UAE Hope Probe: Rendezvous with Mars
Hope Probe, the first Arab interplanetary mission, will be the first to reach Mars on February 9 at 7.42pm (UAE time).. Image Credit: Seyyed Llata

Dubai: On the eve of Hope Probe’s historic arrival on Mars, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, posted an inspiring video message to the country and the youth.

He tweeted on Monday in Arabic: “God willing, tomorrow, we will celebrate 50 years of our country’s formation by reaching Mars as we celebrate the fruits of the work of the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sheikh Rashid. Tomorrow, we begin preparation for the next 50 years. Tomorrow, we will prove to the world that nothing is impossible for the UAE and Emiratis. Tomorrow, we will take the Arabs to the farthest in the universe”

Sheikh Mohammed praised the efforts of Emirati team in making the Hope Probe mission possible and making history.

In a video message on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed said: “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful… my brothers and sisters… the sons of the Emirates… and the sons of the Arab and Islamic nation… peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of God…

“In the next hours, the Hope Probe will arrive on Mars… This is will be the biggest challenge to enter the Mars orbit, as 50 per cent of the human missions that tried before us have failed to enter the Mars orbit. However, we say even if we could not enter the orbit, we have made history.... This is the most far-reaching point in the universe that Arabs have reached throughout their history.

“With more than 5 million hours of work and over 200 Emirati male and female engineers, our goal is to give hope to all Arabs that we are able to compete with other nations and peoples. We ask God for success in reaching the planet Mars... Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings.”

UAE to arrive first in Mars

There are three Mars missions that are expected to rendezvous with the Red Planet this month. Hope Probe, the first Arab interplanetary mission, will be the first to reach Mars on February 9 at 7.42pm (UAE time), to be followed by China’s Tianwen-1 dual orbiter-rover on February 10, while Perseverance rover by Nasa (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) will make a landing attempt in an area on Mars on February 18.

The Mars orbit insertion is the most critical and challenging part of Hope Probe’s journey. If successful, the UAE will become only the fifth country or entity in the world to reach the Red Planet, after the United States, former Soviet Union, China, India and the European Space Agency. UAE will also be the third country to accomplish the feat on its first attempt.

‘UAE’s most ambitious project becoming a reality’

On Monday, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, also tweeted about his visit at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai to give his best wishes to the young Emirati engineers behind the Emirates Mars Mission.

Accompanied with photos taken inside the mission control talking with the engineers, he posted on his official Twitter account: “Today, I was briefed on @MBRSpaceCentre ’s final preparations for the Hope Probe’s mission to Mars and we assessed the different scenarios as it nears the Red Planet.

“We are incredibly proud of this young team for making one of the UAE’s most ambitious projects a reality,” underlined Sheikh Hamdan, adding: “@HopeMarsMission embodies a message of inspiration, ambition, and achievement for the Arab world and the region’s entire youth. We are proud that the UAE, founded 5 decades ago, will become the 5th country to reach Mars.”