Home to the tallest building in the world, and holder of upwards of 150 world records, the United Arab Emirates is no stranger to making history. This week, the gulf nation joined what is perhaps one of the universe’s most exclusive clubs: space explorers.
The nation successfully landed its mission to Mars, named the Hope Probe, on Tuesday, reaching the red planet after 204 days upon its launch.
“204 days and more than 480 million kms later, the #HopeProbe is now in the Capture Orbit of #Mars,” reads the Hope Mars Mission Twitter account.
“Mission accomplished,” tweeted UAE’s vice president H.E Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The event marks the first ever Arab interplanetary mission, which is no easy feat as records show that half of all missions to Mars fail.
The historical event also makes the UAE the second country to ever successfully reach Mars on its first try. The first is India. The probe will go on to spend 678 days (one Martian year) gathering data to create a map of the Martian atmosphere.
““What has made this mission remarkable is not only the 200 Emiratis that were working on this, it’s the 450 people from different continents, backgrounds and beliefs. This was truly an international endeavour and this is what science needs to be, this is what exploration is all about,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency.
Main image: Courtesy of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center