UAE counts down to Mars Hope Probe lift-off
Creating history, the countdown for the blastoff will be done in Arabic.
The night of July 14 will mark a watershed in space history as the UAE is set to join an elite club of nations that has sent an inter-planetary mission to the red planet if weather does not play spoilsport.
The UAE's Mars Hope Probe will lift off atop a Japanese rocket at 00:51:27 UAE time (05:51:27, Japan time) early July 15 morning carrying with it the hope and aspirations of the entire Arab world.
Watch the lift-off live here.
It will be the first probe to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers when it reaches the red planet's orbit in 2021 after completing a 495,000,000km journey.
Creating history, the countdown for the blastoff will be done in Arabic and #FirstArabicCountdown has started trending on Twitter.
Landmarks in Abu Dhabi lit up on July 13, featuring a stunning animated video showing the launch process that will take the Hope Probe to space. The video tweeted by the Abu Dhabi Media Office showed the probe separating after lift-off and reaching its Martian orbit.
The UAE's successful building of the probe in six years after it was first announced is a stellar achievement, the country's first two astronauts told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.
"I am really excited and thrilled about this mission. It's a milestone for our country, said Hazzaa AlMansoori, who made history when he became the first Arab to have gone to the International Space Station (ISS) in September last year.
Meanwhile, Keiji Suzuki, launch site director for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said a "final decision" on the lift-off will be made today in view of the intermittent lightning and rain expected over the next few days on Tanegashima Island in Japan, the site of the lift-off.
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