Dubai: The United Arab Emirates' 'Hope' probe successfully entered Mars' orbit on Tuesday, making history as the Arab world's first interplanetary mission.
The probe is designed to reveal the secrets of Martian weather, but the UAE also wants it to serve as an inspiration for the region's youth.
Officials at mission control broke into applause after the probe entered orbit, visibly relieved after a tense half-hour as the probe carried out a "burn" to slow itself enough to be pulled in by Martian gravity, in what was the most perilous stage of the journey.
The UAE's venture is also timed to mark the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE's seven emirates.
The probe, named 'Al-Amal', Arabic for 'Hope' rotated and fired all six of its powerful thrusters to dramatically slow its average cruising speed of 121,000 kilometres (75,000 miles) per hour to about 18,000 kph.
And as the clock ticked down, Dubai's needle-shaped Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, lit up in red with blue laser lights, to the backdrop of dramatic music.