The Mars probe from the United Arab Emirates sent the first image of the red planet to Earth during its journey to Mars. The chief leader of the Emirates and Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, shared the photo in a Twitter post.
“We received the Hope probe’s first sighting of its destination, Mars, after the spacecraft travelled one million km into space. Beyond the sky is where our dreams start.” Mars can be seen in the photo as a white dot.
Weather conditions on Mars
The probe al-Amal (Hope) was launched on Monday from the Japanese space base Tanegashima. Its mission is to map and investigate the weather conditions on Mars for two years, causing hydrogen and oxygen to disappear from the planet’s thin atmosphere. The gases fly into space, so Mars has no chance of life like on Earth.
The mission is to put the Emirates on the map as a country of science and technology. That could become a source of income when the oil runs out. The United Arab Emirates has had its space agency since 2014.
The Arabian probe is not the only one on its way to Mars. Last Thursday, China also launched an unmanned spacecraft, Tianwen-1 (Celestial Questions-1), which will drop a cart on Mars. That must find traces of life and map the surface and bottom of the planet.