After nearly seven months in space, the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe (Arabic: مسبار الأمل, Al Amal) will make its orbital insertion on February 9, 2021. The objective of the probe is to provide the first complete portrait of the Martian atmosphere, helping scientists understand the climate dynamics of the Red Planet.
The Hope Probe was developed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, and it will be the first of the three spacecraft that took advantage of the July 2020 Mars launch window, with the other two being Tianwen-1 (China) and Mars 2020 (USA).
Before Hope Probe can use its three scientific instruments to answer important questions about the loss of hydrogen and oxygen from Mars into space, it must first successfully perform a complex and risky maneuver to enter a Mars orbit, using all of its six thrusters to slow down from 121,000 km/h to 18,000 km/h.
If successful, the United Arab Emirates will become only the fifth nation to reach Mars. The occasion is timed to mark the 50th anniversary of the unification of the wealthy Gulf state, so the sense of anticipation is understandably sky-high — not just figuratively but also literary. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, currently shines red to signal the arrival of the Hope Probe to Mars.
Regardless of how the Emirates Mars Mission ends, it has already completed its goal of stimulating young students to pursue STEM-related fields.
“We’ve seen a large shift with the mindset of students, first and foremost, within the Emirates” said Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, chairperson at the UAE Space Agency and minister of state for advanced sciences in the UAE. “But we’ve also seen a lot of keen engagement within the region, a region that is typically known to be unstable, and that has triggered a lot of thoughts with regards to what is possible” she added.
According to the world’s richest person, Elon Musk, it should be possible to send 1 million people to Mars by 2050, and the data collected by probes such as the Hope Probe are vital for making this lofty plan happen.
You’ll be able to watch live coverage of the UAE Hope Probe reaching Mars on the UAE Space Agency website.
UAE Comes Out Strongly In Guinness World Records 2023
Guinness, the renowned cataloger of record-breaking events, has released its latest annual, after sifting through 40,000 applications — and the Arab world is heavily featured.
Guinness World Records, the authority on record-breaking global achievements, has just announced its latest release, “Guinness World Records 2023 (GWR2023),” which will be available online and in physical stores across the Arab region from today.
As usual, GWR 2023 features all of the latest achievements from around the world (and space!), with special features and updated graphics to bring the stories to life.
So why the interest in the latest Guinness installment? Well, it turns out the Arab Region is strongly represented in the book, with more than 50 records featured in the new edition, which is no mean feat considering the volume of competition.
“We’ve sifted through nearly 40,000 record applications over the past year to bring you Guinness World Records 2023. People from all walks of life continue to be fascinated by extremes, and we’ve received claims from across the planet – indeed, even from space! This is why I’ve said the new edition is out of this world,” says Craig Glenday, Guinness Editor in Chief.
Of interest to readers of this platform, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both get to flex their record-breaking muscles.
Saudi Arabia claims the title of “Largest LED Structure and Suspended Ornament” courtesy of the Noor Riyadh Festival, as well as other weird and wonderful titles, including the “Largest Lego Formula 1 Car”, as well as perhaps more prestigious honors, such as “Largest Mirrored Building”, “Largest Clock Face”, “Tallest Lighthouse” and the “Largest Geodesic Dome”.
Not to be outdone, the UAE has claimed several humanitarian record-breaking titles, including the “Longest Video Livestream” (by The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and pan Arab influencer Hassan Suleiman), the “Largest Donation for Medical Treatment”, and the “Most Awareness Ribbons Made in One Hour”.
On the tech front, the UAE also claims several prestigious firsts, including “First 3D-Printed Laboratory”, while the world-renowned Burj Khalifa hangs on to its title of “World’s Tallest Building”.