Abu Dhabi –
Five days after entering Mars orbit, the spacecraft sent the first image of the red planet to the United Arab Emirates.
Emirati Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on Twitter that the photo, released on Sunday, was taken 25,000 kilometers from the surface of Mars. Sheikh Mohammed bin Sajid Al-Najjan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the true ruler of the Emirates, spoke of “a decisive moment in our history”.
The “Amal” (hope) mission entered Mars’ orbit at 18,000 kilometers per hour on Tuesday. A day later, a Chinese probe also entered orbit to explore the surface of Mars. Previously, the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe and India reached the planet on their own missions. On Thursday, US space agency NASA’s “diligence” rover is set to land on Mars.
The Emirates space probe has been on the road for seven months since its launch, with the aim of helping to better record the planet’s climate. It stays in orbit around Mars for about two years, exploring the planet’s surface at all times of the day and year. The study is expected to orbit Mars every 55 hours and take a full picture every nine days. The first scientific data are due out in early September.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210214-99-435946 / 2 (dpa)
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