Over 1.5 billion people followed UAE Hope probe story in newspapers, social media
Dubai - The story of the country's Hope made it to top international publications, while its team was interviewed on a host of TV channels.
More than 1.5 billion people had closely followed the UAE's Hope probe journey - from its arrival in Japan in April to its historic launch on July 20 - through the extensive coverage it garnered from media outfits around the world.
The UAE Government on Sunday revealed the impressive media mileage that the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) received, as it thanked news outlets, TV stations, institutions and other channels for its outstanding coverage of the first interplanetary mission of the Arab world.
Millions of people read, watched and talked about the mission in various languages across channels, be it newspapers, magazines, websites or broadcast media. The story of the country's Hope made it to top international publications, while its team was interviewed on a host of TV channels. It also topped trending charts on social media, winning 'hearts' and 'likes' from hundreds of thousands of Netizens.
The live coverage of the liftoff on July 20, in particular, received exceptional traction. Hundreds of articles were published in prominent newspapers and global news websites in the first 12 hours following the launch until the ground space station welcomed the probe's first message.
In the two-week run-up to the launch, media coverage of the Hope Probe made up 60 per cent of the content across local platforms and channels, including print, digital, visual, and social media.
The coverage secured across news and social media platforms continued to surge, reaching 75 per cent in the week prior to the launch, with the lion's share belonging to social media and interactive digital platforms. Leading the list of highest engagements was Twitter, followed by Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
Local engagement on these platforms exceeded 90 per cent on the day of the launch, reaching 95 per cent in the hour scheduled for liftoff, and 97 per cent in the first 12 hours post-launch.
Reaching 516 million views
In the first two weeks of July, about 2,700 original Press materials on the Hope Probe were monitored, including Press releases, articles, investigative reports and stories across Arab and international newspapers, websites, and social media platforms.
These materials, representing diverse media outlets, and chosen as a sample to explore the audiences' interests, achieved 516 million views, according to a survey conducted by the UAE Media Office, in cooperation with research and survey centres.
These materials highlighted different aspects of the mission, such as the stages in which the Probe was built, the project's team of Emirati engineers, the UAE's growing interest in space science and technologies over the past decade, the country's pioneering regional position in the space industry, and the first Emirati astronaut, and the third in the Arab world, to join the International Space Station.
Three months of incredible coverage
The UAE has impressed the world with how it beat Covid-19 challenges and flew the Hope probe from Dubai to its launch site on Tanegashima Island in Japan in April. Even with all the travel restrictions in place, the country proved that, indeed, nothing was impossible. Newsrooms knew that this alone is an inspiring story that should be shared with the world.
Coverage of the Hope probe across international media channels, especially in the US and Europe, was significant and comprehensive over the past three months. This coverage included more than 865 original stories that were directly published in print and digital newspapers, websites and news channels, in addition to being redistributed and shared thousands of times on other websites, ultimately garnering millions of views and interactions.
Until the probe's launch, the UAE Media Office monitored more than 450 op-eds and features that were directly published about the Emirates Mars Mission on widely popular media outlets. Over 250 interviews with the Probe's core team members featured in leading print and digital scientific journals and newspapers globally.
Social media platforms and the #FirstArabicCountdown
In terms of interaction on social media platforms, videos about the mission attracted more than 680 million views and interactions on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter worldwide during the last three months before the Hope Probe's launch.
Content was developed by prominent stars and influencers in the Arab region and the world, as part of a motivational campaign for the UAE Mars journey. More than half of this number was recorded during the last two weeks in the run-up to the launch and the first 12 hours after the launch.
Videos included the #FirstArabicCountdown campaign. While the actual countdown began with the Hope Probe's arrival in Japan in April, followed by preparations and simulation tests for its launch in July, this campaign was launched in the UAE on various social media platforms to evoke feelings of pride in the Arab world.
Throughout the history of space missions, the countdown has been made in English, Russian or French. With the first Arab space mission (Hope Probe), Arab nations had the opportunity to participate in the first countdown in Arabic.
Several prominent Arab and world figures, including stars, artists, TV hosts and media influencers were invited to participate in the first countdown in Arabic, counting down the 10 most exciting seconds in the history of the Arab world and highlighting the global support received by the inspiring Emirates Mars Mission.
In addition, many Arab and European ambassadors in the UAE took part in the campaign, posting Arabic countdown videos on their social media accounts as messages of support and motivation. Hundreds of people across the world also posted videos in which they counted down in Arabic amid feelings of excitement.
The Hope Probe started its journey to Mars on July 20, at 1:58am UAE time, aboard the H2A launch rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, where it received commands from the ground control station at Al Khawaneej in Dubai.
The first broadcast signal at 3.10am, commanded the Hope Probe to commence its historic journey to Mars. The Hope Probe is expected to take seven months and travel 493 million km, to reach the Martian orbit in February 2021, coinciding with the UAE's Golden Jubilee celebrations.