By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 21st July, 2020 (WAM) — The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, has called the UAE “a bright young space power,” following the successful launch of the Emirates Mars Mission, Hope Probe, early on Monday.
“We enjoy having the bright young space power of the UAE among our most reliable key partners,” Dmitry Rogozin, Roscosmos Director-General, told Emirates News Agency, WAM.
Russia – former Soviet Union – was the first country to land a spacecraft on Mars in 1971 and 1973, which was followed by the US with its eight successful Mars landings between 1976 and 2018.
European Union in 1993 and India in 2014 joined this exclusive club of spacefarers that have successfully made it to Mars.
The Hope Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre at 01:58 Monday morning and it would travel 493.5 million km over seven months to reach Mars’ orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations to mark the historic union of the Emirates.
Roscosmos Director-General congratulated the UAE and the entire Arab world for the first ever Arab interplanetary mission.
“I am sure that the successful launch of the Hope mission will further spur the already extremely high interest in the field of space exploration, which we currently see in the Arab world,” he said.
Since its announcement, the Emirates Mars Mission has consistently attracted close attention of the global space community, Rogozin said.
This ambitious project captivates space professionals from all over the world, he noted. “My foreign colleagues and I also held our breath while watching this landmark project taking shape,” he added.
He commended the UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre for the successful launch of Hope Probe.
“We sincerely wish our Emirati colleagues a successful accomplishment of this extremely interesting space project,” Rogozin said.
The Roscosmos State Corporation was established in August 2015 to oversee and implement a comprehensive reform of the Russian space industry.
The ExoMars programme, a joint endeavour between Roscosmos and the European Space Agency had launched Schiaparelli, a technology demonstration vehicle carried by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, TGO, to Mars in 2016.
They have postponed the 2020 launch of the second ExoMars mission to the Red Planet to 2022 due to certain technical reasons.
WAM/ Ibrahim Shukralla