UAE leaders praise team behind Hope probe launch

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed hosts ceremony for launch team at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi

A celebration of the UAE’s successful launch of its first Mars satellite was hosted by the nation’s leaders to mark the occasion of Eid Al Adha.

A welcome ceremony at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi was hosted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to mark the achievements of those involved in the launch.

The UAE made history on July 20, as it launched its first interplanetary mission to Mars in efforts to study the dynamic weather conditions of the planet.

The team behind the project was invited to the palace and were honoured by Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

"Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, this is all thanks to you. After the blessing of Allah, Sheikh Khalifa is very pleased," Sheikh Mohamed said, while addressing the Mars mission team.

"We are very proud of you. Many of you may not know the team behind the Hope probe, so I would like you to take off your masks, please. What I’ll ask you to do now is to raise your hands so that people can see we are investing in the people of UAE, who make us proud in every place.

"The late Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him, said the true investment is in our children. Because it is the only investment that places the UAE among the developed countries. He was betting on you."

More than 150 Emirati engineers, scientists and researchers worked on the project since its inception six years ago.

The team faced several challenges which they overcame, including carrying out the mission during the Covid-19 pandemic and two delays caused by the unstable weather conditions at the launch site in Japan's Tanegashima island.

The Hope probe took off at 1.58am and became a landmark event in space exploration.

Leaders of the nation praised the work of the UAE Space Agency in a message on social media, stating “the sons of the nation are the most important achievements of this country.”

On its 500 million kilometre journey, the Hope probe will collect information about the Martian atmosphere and should enter the Red Planet's orbit in February, more than 200 days after leaving Earth.

It is due to arrive to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the formation of the UAE in its golden jubilee year.