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UAE Space Mission: Hope orbiter successfully lifts off for Mars

United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched its first interplanetary mission to Mars, after making a successful liftoff from Japan.

The Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport, and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet’s weather and climate.

Two previous attempts to launch the probe in the past week had to be called off due to adverse weather.

Hope would begin orbiting Mars from February 2021.

The UAE craft is one of three missions heading to Mars this month. UAEs attempt comes after US, Russia, Europe and India succeeded in doing in its past missions.

The satellite will study how the planets atmosphere works. Scientists think it can add to our understanding of how Mars lost much of its air and with it a great deal of its water.

The satellite is one of a number of projects the UAE government says signals its intention to move the country away from a dependence on oil and gas and towards a future based on a knowledge economy.

But as ever when it comes to Mars, the risks are high. A half of all missions sent to the Red Planet have ended in failure.