Dubai, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- The United Arab Emirates’ Hope space probe is arriving Tuesday at Mars to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere, marking the first interplanetary mission.
Launched from Japan in July, the unmanned Hope spacecraft is set to enter Mars’ orbit at 7.00 pm, becoming the first of three space expeditions expected to reach Earth’s neighbor this month.
If Hope — or Amal in Arabic — succeeds, the UAE would be the fifth country to reach the Martian orbit, after the United States, the USSR, China, and India.
The launch of the Emirati spacecraft and its imminent arrival to Mars has unleashed a wave of national pride.
On Sunday, the country’s Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said in a post to Twitter that Emirates “is busy with the future.”
“The Hope Probe is nearing Mars. Congratulations to everyone on the occasion of the historic Emirati Mission to Mars,” the UAE’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed tweeted earlier this month.
The probe is expected to spend two years in orbit, capturing images and studying the planet’s atmosphere and changing seasons. EFE-EPA