UAE to launch first Arab probe to Mars in July



Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai (left) stands among engineers and scientists during a ceremony to unveil UAE's Mars Mission on May 6th, 2015 in Dubai. The UAE Mars Mission aims to provide a global picture of the Martian atmosphere through a probe named Al Amal to be launched in July 2020 to reach Mars in 2021, according to the engineers involved in the project. [Karim Sahib/AFP]

After sending its first astronaut to space last year, the UAE is to launch a probe to Mars in July, state news agency WAM announced Tuesday (May 19th).

The unmanned probe, named Hope, will be "the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation", it said.

WAM said the probe would be launched on July 15th from Japan's Tanegashima Space Centre, using a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries platform.

It is set to make a 495-million-kilometre journey to reach and orbit the Red Planet.

Last September, Hazza al-Mansouri made history as the first Emirati in space.

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