DUBAI: The UAE’s Hope Probe is expected to reach its planned orbit around Mars in around three months from now, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced on Sunday.
The Hope Probe has 189 million kilometers remaining and is planned to complete its orbit around Mars on Feb. 9, 2021 at 7.42 p.m. local time.
Hope has so far covered 60 percent of its journey, equivalent to 290 million kilometers over 111 days since it was launched on July 20.
“We will celebrate the arrival of the first Arab mission to Mars,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
The Hope probe has completed its last trajectory correction maneuver after travelling 290 million km into space in 111 days. We officially announce Hope probe will arrive to Mars on Feb. 9, 2021 at 7:42pm UAE timing. We will celebrate the arrival of the first Arab mission to Mars
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) November 8, 2020
Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said: “The Hope Probe mission is the culmination of a 50-year journey, which began in 1971. It also marks the beginning of another 50 years that will bring about major achievements based in the fields of science, knowledge and innovation.”
“Our nation does not have the word impossible in its dictionary,” he added.
With Hope’s arrival, the UAE will become the fifth nation to reach the Red planet — following the United States, Soviet Union, India, and the European Space Agency.
The Probe is a step by the UAE to become a knowledge-exporting country.
The Hope Probe has successfully completed its third and final trajectory correction maneuver today – another major milestone in its journey to #Mars. The maneuver is to ensure that the probe continues directly targeting Mars' capture orbit. #HopeMarsMission #HopeProbe pic.twitter.com/dwaMI7bGkJ
— Hope Mars Mission (@HopeMarsMission) November 8, 2020