Last week, news about UAE’s Hope probe successfully entering orbit around the Red Planet made headlines. After taking off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center in July last year, the spacecraft made history by becoming the first from the Arab world to arrive on Mars, on February 9, 2021. Adding to the excitement, it sent back its first image of Mars, “capturing the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, emerging into the early morning sunlight.”
من ارتفاع ٢٥ ألف كم عن سطح الكوكب الأحمر .. أول صورة للمريخ بأول مسبار عربي في التاريخ
The first picture of Mars captured by the first-ever Arab probe in history, 25,000 km above the Red Planet's surface pic.twitter.com/Qgh2Cn3JPF
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2021
The same was revealed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE prime minister and Dubai’s ruler, who uploaded the coloured image on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The said picture was reportedly taken from an altitude of 24,700 kilometres above the Martian surface, a day after the probe entered Mars’ orbit. “The first picture of Mars captured by the first-ever Arab probe in history,” wrote Sheikh Mohommad.
Hope is the first of three spacecrafts to arrive at the Red Planet this month after China and the US also launched missions in July, making the most of the period when Earth and Mars are closest to each other. Hope will orbit the Red Planet for at least one Martian year, or 687 days, using three scientific instruments to monitor the Martian atmosphere. Moreover, it is expected to send back more information back to Earth in September 2021, with valuable data for scientists world over.