UAE’s Hope probe successfully enters Martian orbit

The UAE’s Mars Hope orbiter (Amal in Arabic) successfully entered the Martian orbit in its first attempt on February 9, 2021.

This is the first time that an Arab country has successfully sent out a planetary mission.

The Hope probe’s mission to Mars also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. (1971-2021).

The US$200 million orbiter was launched into space on a Mitsubishi MH-IIA rocket on July 20, 2020, from Tanegashima Island in Japan.

There was jubilation across the UAE and the Arab region on February 9 after it was confirmed that Hope had entered Mars’ orbit, as it was scheduled to do, after its seven-month long journey to the Red Planet.

The UAE has become the fifth entity to successfully send a spacecraft to Mars, following the United States, former USSR, European Space Agency, and India.

Hope probe
The Hope probe mission – from launch to Mars’ orbit. Credit: MBRSC


Hope is part of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), a national initiative of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) headquartered in Dubai, together with the UAE Space Agency.

The three main scientific tools onboard Hope include the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer, Emirates Explorer Imager, and Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer.

The UAE’s Hope probe will be followed by China’s Tianwen-1 five-ton orbiter-plus-lander on February 10, 2021, and then by NASA’s Perseverance rover on February 18, 2021.

While the UAE probe will only orbit Mars, both the Chinese and American probes will land on the Red Planet, where they will conduct extended scientific analysis of the Martian surface and subsurface.