UAE probe ‘Hope’ sends home first image of Mars

Issued by: Change:

Dubai (AFP)

The UAE “Hope” probe returned the first image of Mars, the national space agency said Sunday, days after the spacecraft entered Red Planet orbit.

The photo “captured the largest volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons, appearing in the early morning sunlight,” it said in a statement.

The image was taken from a height of 24,700 kilometers (15,300 miles) above the Martian surface Wednesday, a day after the probe entered Mars orbit, it said in a statement.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE prime minister and governor of Dubai, shared the colorful image on Twitter.

“The first image of Mars captured by the first ever Arab probe in history,” he wrote.

The mission is designed to reveal the mysteries of Martian weather, but the UAE also wants it to be an inspiration for the region’s youth.

Hope was the first of three spacecraft to reach the Red Planet this month after China and the U.S. launched missions in July, taking advantage of a time when Earth and Nearest Mars.

The UAE campaign is also on record for 50 years since the country’s seven emirates were united.

“Hope” orbits the Red Planet for at least one Martian year, or 687 days, using three scientific instruments to monitor the Martian atmosphere.

It is planned to begin sending more information back to Earth in September 2021, with the data available for scientists around the world to study.