UAE’s Hope probe spots Mars for the very first time on its maiden voyage through space

Mars spotted for the very first time by UAE's Hope probe on its way to the Red Planet@HHShkMohd/Twitter
  • The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope probe just spotted Mars for the very first time on its way to the Red Planet.
  • The Gulf country’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that Hope Mission has completed the first 100 million kilometres of its journey.
  • The Hope probe took the image using its star tracker designed to keep the spacecraft on the correct path.
  • The team behind the mission claims that they will likely have to make at least half a dozen manoeuvres before the Hope Mission reaches its destination.
  • Check out the latest news and updates on Business Insider.
It’s been over a month since the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) maiden voyage into space, and it just caught its first-ever glimpse of the Red Planet — Mars.


UAE’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum confirmed that the Hope probe is now 100 million kilometres into its seven-month journey. This means the spacecraft has completed one-fifth of its planned route to Mars.


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The image of Mars was taken using the Hope probe’s star tracker designed to keep the spacecraft on the right path. However, the team behind the mission claims that it will need to perform at least six trajectory correction manoeuvres along the way — the first of which already occurred over a week ago.


"It's a very small target," Pete Withnell, program manager for the Hope Mission, said during a news conference held on July 9, explaining how aiming for Mars is "equivalent to an archer hitting a two-millimetre target one kilometre away.”

Mission Hope's journey to MarsMBRSC

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What is Mission Hope expecting to find on Mars?
The main objective of the $200 million Mission Hope is to understand Martian weather, which is one of the years they want to complete at least one year’s orbit.

Once the Hope probe positions itself in orbit around Mars its primary three instruments — the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS), Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI), and Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) — will switch on.

At the end of the day, scientists behind the mission are hoping to establish a connection between the ancient climate of Mars and what it has now.

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Instruments aboard the Hope probe will also be keeping an eye out for how hydrogen and oxygen are escaping from the Martian atmosphere. And also investigate how the lower and upper levels of the atmosphere are connected.

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