DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates launched its first mission to Mars on Monday.
It is the first Arab nation to go to the red planet.
The aim of the mission is to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil.
The Hope Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. UAE time/6:58 a.m. Japanese time Monday (2158 GMT Sunday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet, where it will orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.
The Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million, according to Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri.