A UAE spacecraft shot up into the blue skies from a Japanese launch center on Monday at the start of a seven-month journey to Mars on the first interplanetary mission in the Arab world.
The takeoff of the Mars orbiter named Amal, or Hope, begins a race to fly to Earth’s neighbor that China and the United States will follow in the coming days.
At the Dubai Space Center, people watching were shocked by the takeoff, then applauded and applauded, and a woman offered a common cry of celebration for weddings.
Amal took off from the Tanegashima Space Center aboard a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket in time at 6:58 a.m. (2158 GMT Sunday) after being delayed five days due to bad weather.
Mitsubishi later said the probe successfully detached itself from the rocket and was now on its solo journey to Mars.
The probe was sending signals that would be analyzed later, but everything seemed good for now, Omran Sharaf, director of the UAE mission, told reporters in Dubai, about an hour and a half after takeoff.
Amal is expected to reach Mars in February 2021, the year the UAE celebrates 50 years since the country’s formation. In September of that year, Amal will begin transmitting Martian atmospheric data, which will be made available to the international scientific community, Sharaf said.
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