The UAE made history on Tuesday evening when it joined an elite club of five nations that have sent a spacecraft to the Red Planet.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, personally thanked staff from mission control in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohamed said the bright young Emiratis who led the mission were “part of a generation that makes us proud. You took our honour and our reputation up to Mars”.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, said the successful journey of the Hope Probe highlighted the strong will of Emiratis and Arab youth, urging them to look to the future.
The UAE made history, becoming only the fifth nation to reach Mars and the first Arab country to do so. Sheikh Abdullah said that the spacecraft reached “the furthest point that an Arab had ever reached, underscoring that the ambitions of the UAE have no limits, and that defying the impossible has become a lifestyle and an approach of the journey in the next 50 years”, Wam reported on Tuesday.
The mission involved “tremendous challenges”, he said, including completing the project in only six years compared to similar missions which have taken more than a decade. Moving the probe to Japan for its launch was also a feat, taking 83 hours, and carried out under the pressure of a pandemic.
“We celebrate today a group of Emirati youth who presented the world with an honourable example of the unlimited ambitions of our country and the Arab world, who have performed their duties towards their nation with high efficiency and dedication, proving to the world that our process of development for the upcoming 50 years is unique and inspiring,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
The success of the Hope Probe is the outcome of the vision of the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, who first supported ambitions for space exploration in 1976, he said.
Sheikh Abdullah called it a success story for all Arabs, while calling on Arab minds to look forward to the future.
“We extend our pride, appreciation and gratitude to members of the Hope Probe project as they were part of the great achievement, and you have proved your worth for the wise leadership’s trust. From here, we will continue our beloved country’s achievements thanks to your efforts,” he said.
‘We hope to join you soon’
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of Nasa, congratulated the UAE and the Mars mission team on Hope Probe’s successful entry to the Red Planet’s orbit.
Mr Zurbuchen wrote on his Twitter account: “Congratulations on your safe arrival to Mars’ orbit! Your bold endeavour to explore the Red Planet will inspire many others to reach for the stars. We hope to join you at Mars soon with @NASAPersevere.”
He also retweeted a post by Nasa Perseverance Mars Rover’s account which quoted Arabic verses from a poem for the Arab poet Al Mutanabbi and a translation into English which read: “If you ventured in pursuit of glory, don’t be satisfied with less than the stars.”
Perseverance is expected to land on Mars on February 18.
Dear @HopeMarsMission, congratulations on arriving at Mars! In the words of the poet Al Mutanabbi:
إذا غامَرْتَ في شَرَفٍ مَرُومِ
فَلا تَقنَعْ بما دونَ النّجومِ
(If you ventured in pursuit of glory, don’t be satisfied with less than the stars.) pic.twitter.com/HvSsRHumzr
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 9, 2021
Sheikh Mohamed: ‘A significant accomplishment in our nation’s history’
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, took to Twitter to voice his pride after the success of the mission was confirmed.
He said: “The entry of the Hope probe into the orbit of Mars is a significant accomplishment in our nation’s history. This achievement was made possible by the Emirati pioneers whose work will inspire future scientists and engineers for generations. We are immensely proud of them.”
Source: The National