The UAE’s “Hope” probe returned its first image of Mars, the national space agency announced on Sunday, days after the spacecraft successfully entered the orbit of the Red Planet.
The image “captured the solar system’s largest volcano, Olympus Mons, emerging in early morning sunlight,” it said in a statement.
The picture was taken on Wednesday, a day after the probe entered Mars orbit, from an altitude of 15,700 kilometers above the Martian surface, a statement said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, shared the colored picture on Twitter.
“The first image of Mars captured by the first Arab probe in history,” he wrote.
The mission is designed to reveal the secrets of the Martian weather, but the UAE also wants it to serve as an inspiration to the youth of the region.
Hope was the first of three starships to land on the Red Planet this month after China and the US also launched missions in July to seize the time when Earth and Mars are closest.
The UAE’s venture is also aligned with the 50th anniversary of the unification of the nation’s seven emirates.
“Hope” orbits the Red Planet for at least a Martian year or 687 days and uses three scientific instruments to monitor the Martian atmosphere.
More information is expected to be sent back to Earth from September 2021. The data are available to scientists around the world.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)