Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received members of the Emirates Mars Mission, Hope Probe, team including the engineering, scientific, technical and administrative cadres at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
They honoured the team members for their exceptional achievement, which culminated in the successful launch of the Probe as the first-ever Arab interplanetary exploration mission to Mars to coincide with the nation’s 50th anniversary.
Present were Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of Dubai Executive Council and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre; Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance; Lt. General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Shaikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; and other members of the cabinet.
Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed pride over this breakthrough achieved by the Emiratis. He praised Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his keenness to honour the team while celebrating Eid Al Adha.
"I would like to thank my brother and friend Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed who added a new flavour to this Eid's celebrations, making it an occasion to celebrate the success of our dedicated hard-working Emiratis."
"After every hard journey, there is a break. After every achievement, there is time to celebrate. Today is a day of joy over this great Emirati achievement, the Mars Hope Probe. Today is a day of celebration for the team and the people of the UAE. A day where we thank you for your efforts that continued for six years," Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid continued.
"To the mission team, I say a great journey has begun. The purpose of this journey is to make the UAE the best country in the world. I am very optimistic and positive about our future because, in the UAE, we do what we say and we say what we do," he added.
Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed extended the greetings of President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Probe team, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and the people of the UAE on the occasion of Eid al-Adha.
He also wished further happiness and success for Emiratis on the occasion.
Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "The successful launch of the Hope Probe is a cultural achievement, which mirrors the leadership of the UAE and its potential to enhance the role of Arabs in astronomy and space sectors."
He also greeted Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid, stressing that, "he is a symbol of strong will and leadership that does not know impossible as well as a source of permanent aspiration that always looks for the first position in various fields."
Addressing the Hope Probe team, Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "We are proud of you, as you are an honourable model for Emirati youth, which we want to be the best, most knowledgeable, developed and qualified. You have presented a positive image of Emirati and Arab youth to the world. You and other national cadres in all the sectors are our real and winning bet for the future."
He added, "The successes achieved by the Emirati space project, and other qualitative development projects, emphasise that we, under the leadership of President Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, are on the right path to accomplishing sustainable development, and difficulties do not stop us, but rather stimulate the spirit of challenge, and motivated us to further development."
Each member of the team received a personalised "Thank You" message signed by Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed, as well as a plaque with the signatures of the two leaders, in recognition of their role in this Emirati and Arab achievement.
A video detailing the Emirates Mars Mission journey, launched under the directives of President Shaikh Khalifa, and the support of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Shaikh Mohamed bin Zayed was shown.
Hope Probe, the first Arab interplanetary mission blasted into the sky on Monday, 20th July, 2020, at 1:58 am (UAE time), beginning its epic journey to Mars.
It lifted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre and in nearly 200 days from now, it will reach Mars orbit and begin its mission to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
Once it enters Mars’ orbit in the first quarter of 2021, the Hope Probe will mark the UAE’s 50th anniversary. It will travel 493 million kilometres into space in a journey that will take seven months and will orbit the Red Planet for one full Martian year of 687 days to provide the first truly global picture of the Martian atmosphere.
It will be the first to study the Martian climate throughout daily and seasonal cycles. It will observe the weather phenomena in Mars such as the massive dust storms that have been known to engulf the Red Planet, as compared to the short and localised dust storms on earth.
Exploring connections between today’s Martian weather and the ancient climate of the Red Planet will give deeper insights into the past and the future of Earth and the potential of life on Mars and other distant planets.
The Probe will gather and send back new Mars data to the Science Data Centre in the UAE via different ground stations around the world. The data will be catalogued and analysed by the Emirates Mars Mission science team and shared for free with the international Mars science community as a service to humanity.
Other achievements of the Emirates Mars Mission team, included the development of 200 new designs, manufacturing of 66 pieces of the Probe components in the UAE, publishing 51 research papers on the project, in addition to benefitting over 60,000 participants through the Mission's scientific and academic programmes.