UAE Hope Probe: First photo released from Mars mission | Science & Tech News
The United Arab Emirates released the first image of Mars sent by their spacecraft.
The picture taken on Wednesday shows sunlight on the surface of Marsas well as the North Pole and the largest volcano on the planet, Olympus Mons.
The picture is from the spaceship called Hope or Amal in Arabic, the went into orbit around Mars on Tuesday after a seven month flight.
It is a triumph for the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission and makes the UAE the fifth nation to ever reach the red planet.
The £ 160 million satellite is set to provide a picture of Martian atmosphere by studying the daily and seasonal changes on the planet. It is the first of three space missions scheduled to reach Mars this month.
An orbiter and lander launched by China reached Mars orbit Wednesday. The pair will be overtaken by NASA’s Perseverance Rover, the first to land on the surface of the red planet, on February 18.
The three missions, launched in July 2020, form a wave of unmanned spacecraft to see if Mars was ever habitable and to see if it could be possible again.
The timing of the launches was dictated by the orbits of Mars and Earth, with a single month-long window in which the planets are close enough to make the seven-month journey possible. That window would not have reopened for another 26 months.
Scientists believe that Mars was once rich in water and could possibly support life.