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Hope Probe: UAE, China to celebrate Mars missions together, says envoy

WAM/Beijing
Filed on February 8, 2021
WAM

New era of space exploration can be considered a new economy, Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri says.

The UAE Ambassador to China has said that both countries will be entering into the Chinese New Year with much optimism as their respective Mars missions achieve success.

Dr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to China, stated, "Spring Festival upon us as we enter into the Chinese New Year, many of us are looking with hope to the future. It is apt that at the cusp of this new year, there is optimism on the horizon, with both the UAE and China achieving respective arrivals to the orbit of Mars."

In an Op-Ed in the China Daily, Dr. Al Dhaheri said that, "Mars missions from our two nations will arrive within one day of the other – the UAE's on February 9th and China's on February 10th. By the time Spring Festival rolls in, both of our nations will be united in celebration.

He added that in the UAE's case, the Mars mission is called the Hope Probe and after "the challenges that have stretched every aspect of our lives, we will indeed look with great hope to this new Chinese year so full of promise."

Following is the Op-Ed in full text, "The Hope Probe will spend nearly two years surveying the planet's atmosphere to study daily changes in Martian weather. It puts the UAE on track to be the first Arab nation to deploy an interplanetary probe and join an exclusive group of spacefaring countries that have done the same.

"China's Mars Mission, Tianwen-1, a five-tonne spacecraft, will burn its engines to slow the vehicle down enough to be captured by Mars' gravitational pull. The rover will land on the surface at a later date in two to three months.

"With such close parallels, the results and outcomes of our two nations' respective Mars missions will complement each other. The scientific insights our missions will both have achieved will be vast and there will be opportunities for collaboration through knowledge exchange.

"This new era of space exploration can realistically be considered a new economy. The globalised future that we are moving into is gathering apace with new technologies driving forward a new dynamism. The UAE has struck a new model to transform into an innovative and technologically advanced economy. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, space technology, alternative and green energy sources – they are all key focal points for the UAE.

"There is much opportunity. Due to the UAE's unique position in the small family of nations taking part in advanced space exploration, I have had the opportunity to meet with the China National Space Administration. We found that there is certainly much scope for future cooperation in space missions.

"The Year of the Ox may be auspicious, with the animal considered in China since ancient times an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. The harvest of focused efforts in building advanced technologies is now upon us, and I would like to wish a happy Spring Festival to you all."





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