UAE launches Martian orbiter for two-year mission

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The United Arab Emirates launched its first spacecraft bound for Mars. in fact it’s the first interplanetary mission for an Arab country. The spacecraft, called Hope, launched Sunday morning from Japan.

It’s expected to reach mars by February of next year, where it will remain in orbit for one martian year, which is 687 earth days.

Now, the UAE, the United States, and China are all taking on missions to Mars this summer, and taking advantage of the ‘biennial window,’ when Earth and Mars are closest to each other.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the UAE, and in a statement Sunday said in part, “We are in awe of the speed and commitment of the UAE, through both the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center and the UAE Space Agency, has demonstrated in developing its first interplanetary spacecraft. Moreover, your dedication to advancing the world’s understanding of Mars by publicly sharing the science and data produced by Hope represents the values of unity, peace, and transparency that will be so important as humanity moves ever farther into the solar system.”

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