Sheikh Hamdan explains why the UAE wants to go to Mars
The journey towards the Red Planet is a journey towards the next 50 years, the Dubai Crown Prince said.
With the country eagerly waiting for its Mars probe's historic liftoff, the Dubai Crown Prince looked back on its six-year journey of building Hope and answered one big question: Why is the UAE going to Mars?
It wasn't only about exploring the cosmos and making new discoveries, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a video he tweeted on Wednesday. Going to Mars is about shaping the future and creating a culture of conquering the impossible, he said.
In the moving two-minute video, Sheikh Hamdan laid out five key reasons behind the Hope probe mission, the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world.
"????? ???? ?????? ??? ???????" pic.twitter.com/dxzayscwSm- Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) July 15, 2020
"We are going to Mars because space programmes are the gateway to science and talent development. There's no future without science and no future without knowledge," he said, stating the first of five.
Launching the unmanned probe to the Red Planet has taken 5.5 million hours of work - and counting, with the dedication of 200 Emirati engineers. It is a milestone that has inspired the country, especially the youth, to make space dreams come true.
"We are going to Mars because we want to solidify a principle for our youth that the impossible is possible for the UAE and the people of the UAE. When we are determined, we execute. When we dream, we make our dreams come true," Sheikh Hamdan said, citing the second reason.
The country was supposed to send its Hope probe to Mars on July 17, after a 48-hour delay from the original launch date of July 15. However, the liftoff had to rescheduled again because of adverse weather conditions at its launch site on Tanegashima Island, Japan. A new date is expected in the next 24 hours, the country announced earlier today.
Lending proof to the country's determination to beat all odds to realise its dreams, the Mars mission team achieved its targets even as the pandemic brought the world to a standstill.
The UAE will go to Mars not only for its seven emirates, but for the rest of the Arab world, he added. "Our journey to Mars is a message of hope to all Arabs that we can compete with the world in science and technology. The UAE today leads the Arab knowledge transformation."
The vision and the journey
Sheikh Hamdan's video also featured snippets of the country's beloved founding fathers and leaders, as he narrated the vision that fuelled the UAE's space journey.
"We are going to Mars because Mars is the means to greater aims. Our aim is not merely to build a probe and launch it but build the foundation for tomorrow. This is the journey that Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid had started, and the journey that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed are carrying on today to empower people with knowledge, capabilities and ambitions that reach the sky," the Dubai Crown Prince said.
The final reason, he said, is to start "a new journey". "The journey of the next 50 years and the last 50 years that passed in the history of our nation: We started from the desert of our country, and we want the next 50 years to start from the desert of Mars, because we are people who don't know the impossible, and nothing can stand ahead of our rising ambitions."
The fifth country to reach Mars
The Mars Mission will carry the flag of the UAE and the aspirations of its people to the Red Planet, Sheikh Hamdan said.
It will be a long journey that will take seven months of travelling more than 490 million kilometres into space, with a cruise speed of 121,000 kph. The UAE is set to become the fifth country to reach Mars.
Thanking the team behind the Emirates Mars Mission, the Dubai Crown Prince said "the mission has succeeded before the journey begins".
"We are immensely proud, and our achievements continue. We are blessed with leadership that only knows the first place. Congratulations to our men and women, Congratulations to our champions. Today is a day of celebrations in the UAE."
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