The UAE has successfully launched the country’s first interplanetary spacecraft called Hope.

The Mars orbiter took off on a Mitsubishi H-IIA booster from the Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan.

The Emirates Mars Mission was initially set for launch on 14 July but was rescheduled due to bad weather.

The UAE-built spacecraft has a total mass of 1,500kg, including fuel, and equipped with solar panels that provide 600W at Mars.

It is carrying three scientific instruments, namely Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI), Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), and Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS).

The Hope probe is expected to reach Mars orbit next year and will provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere and its layers.

With periapse near the equator, it will enter an elliptical approximately ‘22,000km x 44,000km orbit with a period of 55 hours and a 25° inclination’ following a 200-day voyage to Mars.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre is responsible for the execution and supervision of all stages of Hope while the UAE Space Agency is funding and supervising procedures.

The mission team partnered with various American universities, including the University of Colorado at Boulder, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Berkeley to support the mission.