First Arab Mars Mission – Story Part – 03

A young Arab nation, a red planet, a historic mission and a thousand dreams

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
UAE Mars Mission Hope Probe at Work
UAE Mars Mission's Probe Hope at its engineering bay.

The innovative and highly ambitious Hope Probe’s launch is now likely to take place between the 20th and 22nd of this month after being delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions at Japan’s launch station.

This is our third article in a series of comprehensive reports where we explain to you each and every aspect of the UAE’s Mars Mission. You can read the earlier article in the series from the link below.

14 July 2019: First Arab Mars Mission – Story Part – 01

15 July 2019: First Arab Mars Mission – Story Part – 02

21 July 2019: First Arab Mars Mission – Story Part – 04

Through our previous stories in the Hope Probe series, you have come to know the red planet and the historic mission better. Today, let’s look at the young Arab nation and the thousand dreams that it nurtures with this mission.

What makes it historic for the UAE?

The rather small and very young nation is making history by being the first Muslim country to launch a space mission to Mars.

Fourteen years ago, the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre was founded in Dubai, establishing the country’s nascent space program. Since then, the UAE’s interplanetary ambitions have soared.

For a country, 30% of whose GDP came from oil production in 2019, this is a huge step towards economic diversification. The transition that the country is looking for is from oil to advanced science and technology and this has surprised the world as it was quite unexpected.

It’s no small feat that a country that had no astronauts three years ago sent an Emirati astronaut to space in less than a year and is now ready to blast off into Mars and join the elite club of countries who have succeeded in reaching the red planet. Know that most Mars missions to date took nearly 10 to 12 years to develop and then there is UAE that is ready to create history in just 6 years.

Even as the world and the country struggle in the shadows of issues caused by COVID-19, the bold move to continue investing efforts and money into a mission of such global relevance only highlights the nation’s determination and resilience.

The message beyond

Announcing the Hope mission in July 2014, Sheikh Mohammed had said, “The first message is for the world: that Arab civilization once played a great role in contributing to human knowledge, and will play that role again; the second message is to our Arab brethren: that nothing is impossible.”

UAE Mars Mission Hope Probe
UAE Mars Mission’s Hope Probe engineering team working on the unit.

Each member in the team is clear of the goal that this mission hopes to achieve. It’s beyond just data collection. It’s beyond just science. They want it to be a catalyst for change in multiple areas including academic, economic and industrial sectors.
To be the inspiration that rekindles a passion for learning and exploration among its students. To drive them to innovate and stand along with leading nations as science makes giant leaps in the world.

Arab Space Pioneers program, which offers a three-year visa to talented young would-be engineers and researchers to come to the Emirates and study in preparation for a career in space engineering and sciences was launched to encourage this initiative.

It is already a success

The impact that this mission has brought about since its announcement is tremendous. Authorities are overwhelmed to note that universities have started science programs that they didn’t have in the past. More undergraduate students are switching their majors from finance and international relations to sciences.

 Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council at Hope Probe’s engineering bay.

“So when it comes to the vision itself, we’ve already seen the impact,” they say.

Along with this, the messages flooding in from across the world, #FirstArabicCountdown trending on Twitter and the majestic display of the images signifying the mission lighting up landmarks in Abu Dhabi are all part of the greater success that the mission has achieved even before it launched.

Watch it with bated breath

Witness UAE proving that nothing is impossible along with the world at the dedicated live stream.

GCC Business News’s comprehensive coverage on UAE’s historic Mars Mission will keep you updated on each and every aspect of the probe’s journey. Please come back for more every day to read articles in the series and stay updated on the mission’s progress.