Mohammed bin Rashid, Mohamed bin Zayed and Hamdan bin Mohammed video call with the launch team in Japan
The UAE leaders reviewed the Hope probe’s pre-flight preparations days before its historic launch to Mars from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center in the first ever Arab interplanetary mission.
Through a video meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Dubai and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), were briefed on the range of technical tasks overseen by the space mission’s team.
The video meeting was held with the Emirati launch team in Japan and 21 engineers from the UAE Space Agency and MBRSC stationed at the mission control room in Dubai’s Al Khawaneej.
Addressing the launch team in Japan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “In 1976, the late Sheikh Zayed met NASA experts because space was his ambition. Today, you are making his dream come true.”
“The young capacities and engineers who have learned and reached to this stage today is what the whole project is about.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “We are proud to have our leader Mohamed bin Zayed with us today to support you.”
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan conveyed regards from the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan to the team in Japan and said: “We are certain that we will live up to the trust and confidence of our ancestors who established this home for us and granted us stability, prosperity and bright future.”
Addressing His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he said: “Thanks to your efforts and determination, we see these young talents today bringing pride to us, their families, their country and the Arab world.
“This historic event would not have been possible without the devotion, determination and persistence of my brother Mohammed bin Rashid to make this day a milestone in our lives and in the journey of our nation.
“You were the main factor behind this event. On behalf of every Emirati, I thank my brother Mohammed bin Rashid for making this possible.”
The UAE leaders reviewed the final technical and logistical checks of the Hope probe, which will provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere.
They listened to the plans set to manage the several launch phases before expressing their unflinching confidence in the team’s capability of effectively managing and executing the historic mission despite any rising challenges.
They praised the relentless coordination and efforts of the Emirati teams at both the launch site in Japan and the ground station in Dubai to transfer the probe on time for its initial launch amid the health and logistical challenges posed by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The mission’s launch team in Japan have completed final testing and technical checks to prepare the Hope Probe for takeoff following the multiple delays caused by the unstable weather conditions on site.
Once it enters Mars’ orbit in the first quarter of 2021, the Hope probe will mark the UAE’s 50th anniversary.
The probe will travel 493 million kilometers into space in a journey that will take seven months, and will orbit the Red Planet for one full Martian year of 687 days to provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere.
The probe will gather and send back new Mars data to the Science Data Center in the UAE via different ground stations spread around the world. The data will be catalogued and analyzed by the Emirates Mars Mission science team, and shared for free with the international Mars science community as a service to human knowledge.
The Hope Mars Mission is considered the biggest strategic and scientific national initiative announced by UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2014.
The UAE will be the first Arab nation to embark on a space mission to the Red Planet in a journey that contribute to the international science community as a service to human knowledge.
From a national strategic vision, the space mission aims to build a space industry in the UAE and advance the country’s capabilities in space science and engineering.