Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry congratulated the UAE government and nation on the successful Mars mission.
“My heartfelt congratulation to people and the Government of UAE. You have achieved a milestone for humanity, truly a proud moment for Muslim Ummah and particularly for the Arab world,” the minister said in a video message which he shared on the microblogging website Twitter.
My heartfelt congs to people and the Government of @uaegov you have achieved a milestone for humanity truly a proud moment for Muslim Ummah And particularly for Arab World @uaeembassyisb pic.twitter.com/itGxTtSoBg
The United Arab Emirates’ first mission to Mars reached the red planet and entered orbit on Tuesday after a seven-month, 494 million km journey, allowing it to start sending data about the Martian atmosphere and climate.
This makes the UAE the fifth space agency to reach the planet. The Mars programme is part of the UAE’s efforts to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil. The UAE Space Agency even has a plan for a Mars settlement by 2117.
“Contact with #HopeProbe has been established again. The Mars Orbit Insertion is now complete,” the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said.
The attempt to lock into orbit around Mars had a 50% chance of failing, Dubai’s ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said on Tuesday.
“This is the farthest point in the universe to be reached by Arabs throughout their history … Our goal is to give hope to all Arabs that we are capable of competing with the rest of the world,” he said.
The UAE first announced plans for the mission in 2014 and launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop local expertise.