UAE launches first ever Mars mission

The spacecraft launched at 6.58 this morning (local time) from the Tanegashima space center (Japan). The unmaned capsule named "Al Amal (hope)". It will study the climate of the red planet for a whole Martian year to prepare - within 100 years - a possible human settlement. "A message of pride" for young Arabs and a renewal of the "golden age of Arab and Islamic discoveries".


Dubai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The first space mission to the planet Mars, signed by the "Emirates", was launched this morning from the space center of Tanegashima, Japan. Its launch had been delayed twice due to bad weather. This morning at 6.58 (local time in Japan), the rocket carrying the uninhabited capsule "Al Amal (hope)" , which serves as a scientific laboratory, made a sucessful lift off.

"Al Amal" is expected to reach Mars' orbit by February 2021, thus celebrating the 50th anniversary of the unification of the seven emirates within the UAE.

The race to Mars has two other competitors: China with the Tianwen-1 and the United States with Mars 2020. Unlike these, the Arab spacecraft will not land on Mars, but will remain in orbit for about 687 days, an entire year. Martian. The aim is to study the climate in the atmosphere of Mars and prepare for the possibility of building a human settlement on the red planet within the next 100 years.

According to official statements, the UAE government wants the Martian project to serve as an ideal inspiration for young Arabs, in a region marked by fundamentalisms and economic crises. The launch - followed in live streaming througout the emirates - is “a message of pride, hope and peace for the Arab region; it renews the golden age of Arab and Islamic discoveries."