Set to launch this summer, the Hope Mars Mission is a planned space exploration probe mission to Mars. The probe will attempt to answer the question of why Mars’s atmosphere is losing hydrogen and oxygen, and the reason behind Mars’s drastic climate changes. It is also notable for another reason — it is the first interplanetary mission led by an Arab, Muslim-majority country.
Funded by the United Arab Emirates and built by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, University of Colorado, Arizona State University, and University of California, Berkeley, the satellite launches from Japan this July. “The intent was not to put a message or declaration to the world,” says Sarah Al Amiri, deputy project manager for the Emirates Mars Mission. “It was, for us, more of an internal reinforcement of what the UAE is about.”
CNET makes the point that it’s no coincidence Hope will arrive at Mars the year the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary calling it an “act of resilience for the young nation.”