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UAE’s “Hope-mission” conveys picture of Mars’ largest volcano ‘Olympus Mons’

The United Arab Emirates’ Amal, or Hope, the mission transmitted back its first picture of the red planet, the national space agency declared Sunday, days later the spacecraft successfully accessed Mars’ orbit. The picture of “the largest volcano in the solar system” was obtained from an altitude of 24,700 kilometers (15,300 miles) above the Martian surface on Wednesday, a day after the mission entered the planet’s orbit.

The Amal probe arrived at Mars after a seven-month journey, creating the UAE the first Arab nation to have launched a prosperous interplanetary mission.UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum shared the image on Twitter.

“The first picture of Mars captured by the first-ever Arab probe in history,” he wrote.

The UAE targets at exposing the mysteries of Martian weather through its mission, which is anticipated to spend two years in orbit, taking images and examining the planet’s atmosphere and varying seasons. The country also wants it to work as a motivation for the region’s youth. The UAE is only the fifth country in the world to enter the red planet. “Hope” became the first of three spacecraft to reach Mars this month after China and the US also began missions in July.

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“The transmission of the Hope Probe’s first image of Mars is a defining moment in our history and marks the UAE joining advanced nations involved in space exploration,” the UAE’s ruler Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter. The mission agrees with the 50th anniversary of the unification of the nation’s seven emirates. The UAE has exposed an ambitious space program, which involves building a human settlement on Mars by the year 2117.

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