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Dubai: Looking To the Heavens

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Dubai: Looking To the Heavens

Very few saw it coming. That is the launch of the ‘Hope’ probes into Mars space by the Emirate Mars Mission on July 20, 2020, from Japan’s Tanegashima Island. Perhaps, when the UAE first muted the idea of sending a probe to Mars, not a few, especially from the so-called more technologically advanced superpowers would have snickered at the idea.   

Some probably believed that it was a foolish endeavor and that the country was only bereft of ideas of how to spend their oil wealth. With just a 50 percent chance of success, scientists at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) was out to prove that the UAE was more than a country with oil money and a few skyscrapers. In the bigger picture, they believed that even if the probe sails by the Red Planet, has been unable to slow down in time to be captured by Mars orbit; the first interplanetary exploration by an Arab nation has ‘succeeded in bigger ways.’

However, the UAE succeeded even more when on February 9, 2021, in an anxious 27 minutes wait, the Hope probe was successfully inserted into Mars Orbit, making the UAE only the fifth nation globally to succeed in sending a satellite into Mars orbit.

To understand the magnitude of this feat; one has to see it against the backdrop of the fact that the UAE Space Agency was founded in 2014 and has, in just six years, pushed its way to the forefront of the global space conversation. Achieving the Mars probe has as its root purpose the sharing of all acquired data with the scientific community.

With this singular achievement, the UAE has shown that as a nation, there is more to what they are all about than oil wells and amazing infrastructures.

The Hope Probe is the UAE's latest and most ambitious step in its burgeoning space sector. The UAE has launched satellites before in 2009 and 2013; and even though the country founded its space agency in 2014, it has, however, set ambitious targets including having a colony on the Martian surface by 2117.

Government officials have previously spoken of the space program as a catalyst for the country's growing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) sector. In fact, MCRSC scientists are confident that this successful launch of the Hope probe into Mars Orbit will bring about a shift in the mindsets of students within and from the UAE, with more students, hopefully, considering careers in STEM.

At the launch of the Hope Probe in July 2020; the UAE tweeted on its official Hope Mars Mission account: “It's an honor to be part of the global efforts to explore deep space". And as Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said on Twitter; "This is our latest contribution to the world."

Yes, UAE, and more so, Dubai is showing that they have more than beautiful cities to contribute to the advancement of human history, and this time; their contribution is coming from beyond the skies. According to Sarah Al Amiri, the mission’s lead scientist, Hope Probe will enable scientists to build the first full picture of Mars' climate throughout the Martian year. The data gathered by the probe will add a new dimension to the human knowledge," said Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum."

Now that Dubai has turned its attention to the skies, who knows how far they are ready to probe? Because as we know; this Arabian country has a knack for achieving the impossible and 2117 isn’t too far away to see them achieve another impossible!

 

 

 

  Apr 16, 2021       by eguaogie-eghosa       43 Views

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© Copyright The Watchtower 2010 - .

© Copyright The Watchtower 2010 - .