Twitter users on Wednesday busied themselves congratulating the United Arab Emirates, after the Hope Probe mission successfully entered orbit around Mars late on Tuesday. According to reports, the UAE's first-ever interplanetary mission to Mars arrived at the red planet on Tuesday and successfully entered orbit on its first attempt. It sent back a signal confirming it is in orbit.
"Success! Contact with #HopeProbe has been established again. The Mars Orbit Insertion is now complete," tweeted the Hope Mars Mission's official handle at the end of a lengthy thread of live updates.
"204 days and more than 480 million kms later, the #HopeProbe is now in the Capture Orbit of #Mars," it added.
"The entry of the Hope Probe into the orbit of Mars is a significant accomplishment in our nation’s history. This achievement was made possible by the Emirati pioneers whose work will inspire future scientists and engineers for generations. We are immensely proud of them," tweeted Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
A similar congratulatory message in Arabic was posted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
"Congratulations to the UAE leaders, its people, and everyone around the world on the successful arrival of the Hope Probe to Mars. Congratulations to the Emirati women and men on their incredible success in making history. Our journey will now continue towards greater achievements," added Maktoum Bin Mohammed, the deputy ruler of Dubai.
When the spacecraft arrived, the Hope Probe marked the UAE as only the fifth country in history to reach the red planet and the Arab nation's first interplanetary mission. The Hope Mars Mission is considered as the biggest strategic and scientific national initiative announced by UAE's President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2014.
The probe, along with its three scientific instruments, is expected to create the first complete portrait of the Martian atmosphere. This data will provide scientists with an idea of the climate dynamics and weather in different layers of the Martian atmosphere, and will further shed light on how energy and particles, like oxygen and hydrogen, move through the atmosphere and how they even escape Mars.
The Hope Probe is the first of the three UAE interplanetary missions. All three missions were launched around the same time due to an alignment between Mars and Earth on the same side of the sun, making for a more efficient journey to Mars. Of the other two missions, Tianwen-1 is expected to arrive on 10 February and Perseverance on 18 February, reported CNN.
There has been a slew of congratulatory messages from all quarters, eventually catapulting the phrase "Congratulations UAE" to the list of Twitter trends.
"Congratulations Hope Mars Mission on your safe arrival to Mars’ orbit! Your bold endeavor to explore the Red Planet will inspire many others to reach for the stars. We hope to join you at Mars soon with NASA Persevere," tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.
NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover added a welcoming tweet of its own, quoting the words of poet Al Mutanabbi.
"Congratulations to the #UAE and to brothers @HHShkMohd and @MohamedBinZayed on the successful entry of the Hope Probe into the orbit of Mars. The success is a true demonstration of fruitful investments in STEM," tweeted Ethiopia Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali.
"A historic day for the #UAE as the #HopeProbe makes it to Mars! This is a tribute to science and, marks the dawn of a new age in space travel. Congratulations to the leadership and, the people who made this possible," tweeted India's Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.