UAE successfully launches its spacecraft towards Mars

Dubai: Emiratis brimmed with joy and pride as the UAE made history on Monday by successfully launching its spacecraft 'Al Amal' towards Mars from a Japanese launch centre, marking the Arab world's first interplanetary mission, according to media reports.

'Al Amal', or 'Hope Probe', weighing 1.3 tonnes was launched from the H-2A rocket from Japan's remote Tanegashima spaceport at 1:58 am local time.

The probe's telecom system was set up and it transmitted its first signal after it successfully separated from the launch vehicle and its solar panels were deployed with clockwork precision an hour after the launch, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launch Services, which is the launch operator, confirmed.

The signals were received by the Mission Control team in Dubai's Al Khawaneej, the 'Khaleej Times' reported.

The solar panels will charge the batteries of the spacecraft for its 495,000,000 kms journey to Mars, it said.

The Dh735-million (USD 200 million) project, which is the first interplanetary mission by any Arab nation, took six years by a team of 135 Emirati engineers, scientists and researchers. Desk: Asianet Online