By Gavin Gibbon
Mars Hope probe to Red Planet took 5.5 million hours of work from a team of 200 Emirati engineers to develop
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has revealed the five-point plan behind the Emirates Mars Mission.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, outlined the reasons for launching the UAE’s unmanned Hope probe to Mars, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, that took 5.5 million hours of work from a team of 200 Emirati engineers to develop.
He said: “We are going to Mars because space programmes are the gateway to science and talent development. There’s no future without science and no future without knowledge.”
He added that the mission would also prove to the youth of the country “that the impossible is possible for the UAE and the people of the UAE”, and said: “When we are determined, we execute. When we dream, we make our dreams come true.”
The third reason, he explained, is for the UAE to be at the forefront of the Arab scientific movement.
“Our journey to Mars is a message of hope to all Arabs that we can compete with the world in science and technology. The UAE today leads the Arab knowledge transformation,” he said.
He added that the mission does not start and end with building the probe and its launch. He said: “This is the journey that Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid had started, and the journey that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed are carrying on today to empower people with knowledge, capabilities and ambitions that reach the sky.”
Giving the final reason, he said: “We are going to Mars because we want to start a new journey for our country. The journey of the next 50 years and the last 50 years that passed in the history of our nation. We started from the desert of our country, and we want the next 50 years to start from the desert of Mars, because we are people who don’t know the impossible, and nothing can stand ahead of our rising ambitions.”
The Mars Mission will carry the flag of the UAE and take seven months of travelling more than 490 million kilometres into space, with a cruise speed of 121,000 km/hr, before reaching the Red Planet. The UAE would become the fifth country to reach Mars, although the launch is currently awaiting a new date after it was cancelled for the second time this week on Wednesday due to bad weather at the launch site in Japan.