Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has reviewed the final preparations of the Hope Probe, scheduled to launch to Mars on July 15, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, MBRSC, as the countdown begins for the UAE’s much-anticipated historic launch to the Red Planet in the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, WAM said.
The Emirates Mars Mission seeks to establish the UAE’s entry to the space industry, advance the country’s capabilities in space science and engineering and develop young Emirati and Arab talents capable of contributing to global efforts in space exploration.
“The Hope Probe embodies the culture of possibilities deeply rooted in the UAE’s approach, philosophy and journey of accelerating development since the foundation,” WAM quoted Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid as saying.
“Our journey to space represents a message of hope to every Arab citizen that we have the innovation, resilience and efforts to compete with the greatest of nations in the race for knowledge,” he said.
“Hope Probe is an accomplishment for every Arab, a source of pride for every Emirati, and a path-breaking achievement for our engineers,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed concluded: “The UAE will continue deploying its efforts and resources and collaborating with nations to build a better future for humanity.”
Sheikh Mohammed met the Emirates Mars Mission team as the country prepares for the probe’s launch from Tanegashima island in Japan, set according to schedule despite challenges posed by the novel coronavirus global outbreak.
During the meeting, he was briefed on the final pre-launch preparations by Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission, who also explained the different tasks assigned to the team leading testing operations. The Dubai-based space mission’s control team are coordinating efforts from the MBRSC with the launch team in Japan who will soon be joined by Emirati engineers and experts to manage and oversee the launch.
The meeting was also attended by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MBRSC and Saeed Al Eter, Director General of the Ruler of Dubai’s Executive Office.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “Hope Probe highlights our national treasure of hundreds of young Emirati engineers and experts working on the mission. These young people are part of drafting a beautiful chapter in the UAE’s future.”
“Despite challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, we remained committed to our plans to meet the launch schedule of the historic space mission, in efforts have truly reflected the UAE’s slogan that the impossible is possible.”
“The Hope Probe represents a message of hope and optimism to mankind. Our space mission is aimed at serving humanity,” he added.
The Hope Probe’s scheduled launch date on July 15 was set based on careful scientific review of the earth and Mars orbits, with the launch window extending to August 13.
The journey of transferring the Hope Probe from Dubai to the launch site in Tanegashima Island in Japan, which remained on track despite COVID-19 complications, spanned more than 83 hours and underwent three major stages.
The lift-off is scheduled on Wednesday July 15 at 00:51:27 UAE timing from Tanegashima Space Center. The unmanned probe is expected to enter Mars’ orbit on February 2021, marking the UAE’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
The Hope Probe is currently undergoing extensive testing operations at the launch station in Japan. A team of specialised young Emirati engineers are currently supervising the probe’s pre-launch preparations.