UAE Mars Mission launch: as it happened

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said the nation watched the Hope probe launch 'with pride and joy'

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The UAE's leaders on Monday said the Mars probe blast-off was a historic achievement that the country could be proud of.

The Arab world's first homegrown space mission launched right on time, sending the Hope probe soaring towards Earth's outer orbit.

"We watched the successful launch of the Hope probe to Mars with pride and joy, as we embark on a new chapter in space, led by our exceptional youth," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said on Monday.

"Congratulations to the UAE for this historic achievement."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the probe was on its way to the Red Planet as planned.

"We have started the 493-million km journey to the Red Planet. May God facilitate our journey," he said.

In the next 200 days, Hope will travel at speeds of up to 120,000kph on its incredible 495-million-kilometre journey to Mars.