Hope Probe Enters Mars Orbit: UAE Joins Elite League of Space Countries
February 10, 2021 | By - Neelam Motwani

Hope Probe Enters Mars Orbit: UAE Joins Elite League of Space Countries

UAE is now officially the first Arab nation to reach Mars as Hope Probe successfully entered the Red Planet orbit at 7:42 PM, GST on 9 February 2021. The probe named ‘Al Amal’, Arabic for ‘Hope’, blasted off from Japan on 20 July 2020.

After the probe sent its first signal to Earth, the ground control team at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai erupted in celebration over UAE Mars Mission success.

Were you excited to watch the Emirates Mars Mission as well? Let’s cover the journey from the blast to the SUCCESS signal from the Hope Probe.

UAE Hope Probe Journey: From the BLAST to SUCCESS signal after entering Mars’ orbit

Hope Probe UAE Mars Mission was first blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Island in July 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. Launching a Mars Mission amid the pandemic was a historic milestone in itself as the launch was overseen by a skeleton self-isolating crew with almost zero spectators on the launch site. Click here to check out the images from UAE Hope Probe Mars mission launch.

It survived not just the initial launch but also the course correction manoeuvers while maintaining contact with Dubai mission control. The probe survived a lonely journey of 493.5 million kilometers through space.

On the evening of 9 February 2021, Emirati engineers in the  United Arab Emirates Space Agency witnessed a nail-biting moment as Hope Probe made the final approach on the orbit of the Red planet.

The crucial time window before the probe entered Mars’ orbit estimated the success at about 50%. The suspenseful 27 minutes was terrifying when Hope Probe had to dramatically slow down the speed of 100,000 kilometers per hour to 18,000 kilometers per hour by firing six thrusters.

The engineers waited for 11 minutes for confirmation of the thrusters working fine. During this time, all contact was lost as the probe disappeared behind Mars.

Meanwhile in Dubai, Burj Plaza of Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard live streamed scenes from the MBRSC ground station. The most tense moment came when Omran Sharaf, Project Manager of the Emirates Mars Mission, was seen talking to somebody in the space network. At one moment during his conversation, he smiled at his engineers. And that was it! It confirmed the Hope Probe Mars Orbit Insertion.

After 11 minutes, came the message: SUCCESS!

Everyone at the Burj Plaza rose for a standing ovation as people across the country were celebrating the entry of UAE Hope Probe into Mars orbit.

UAE President, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan hailed the breakthrough moment for the country. Other leaders also praised the hard work and efforts of the entire team of Hope Probe and UAE Space Agency.

UAE Mars Mission 9 Feb is, indeed, a historic date and mission not just for the United Arab Emirates but also for the entire humanity.

Hope Probe Facts: What Makes this Mission Special?

We have discussed the journey of UAE Hope Probe, but what makes this mission so special? Let’s check out some of the facts and Hope Probe mission highlights:

  • UAE is the first Arab nation to reach Mars
  • UAE is the fifth nation is the world to reach Mars
  • UAE is the second nation after India to enter Mars orbit in the first attempt
  • Hope Probe Mars Mission was a product of 5.5 million hours from the launch
  • The UAE Mars Mission Team includes 80% women in science department
  • UAE Hope Probe is the first mission to reach Mars in February 2021
  • UAE Hope Probe entering the Mars’ orbit in 2021 coincides with the 50th anniversary of unification of UAE
  • Hope Probe team includes 34% women and average age group of the team is 27
  • Hope Probe is the first artefact fashioned created by humans to make a soft landing on the Red Planet ever
  • Hope Probe will be the first ever mission to provide holistic view of Martian climate every day, month, and year

Hope Probe: Moment of Pride celebrated on Social Media

If you are wondering how the leadership of United Arab Emirates celebrated the moment of pride when Hope Probe entered Mars Orbit, here’s a list:

Prime Minister and Vice President of UAE: 

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi: 

Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre:

Crown Prince of Dubai: 

Deputy Ruler of Dubai: 

Head of State for National Security Advisor:

NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover:


The success of UAE Mars Mission Team will be written in the golden words in UAE’s book of milestones. What began as a vision of the ‘Father of the Nation’ is now a historic reality. Now, all the eyes will be on the real-time images of Mars' atmosphere. A true historic and immense victory in the world of science, in the world of humanity! For more updates about the latest bulletins on UAE Hope Probe, keep reading AlShorts, short news in 30 seconds.
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