Muhammad Alsharaf - Eltizam Abu Dhabi - Cooperate , Dubai , (photo by Ajith Narendra) ( ITP Images) ;29-04-2018_Eltizam

Mohammed Alsharaf, chief operations officer, Eltizam Asset Management Group has described last week’s successful launch of the Hope Probe, the UAE’s first ever space mission to Mars, as a “starting point of the UAE’s journey into a new era.”

The Hope Probe blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Sunday. The $200 million Emirates Mars Mission will study daily and seasonal changes on Mars once it completes its seven-month journey to the red planet.

“The launch of the ‘Hope Probe’ represents a starting point of the UAE’s journey into a new era. Today, we are standing on the threshold of a historic achievement – one where our country begins its participation in the global race for space exploration,” said Alsharaf. “This landmark bid will play a key role in the move to further develop the capabilities of national competencies in the field of space technology and science, which in turn will provide a much-needed boost for international scientific and technological research.”

“The ambitious project to explore the planet Mars is an embodiment of the vision of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who first expressed the country’s interest to join the space race in the 1970s when he received a visit from the astronauts of the Apollo spacecraft. Since then, the UAE has made achievements that have met the aspirations of its people. One achievement worth mentioning is the success of Hazza Al Mansouri as the first Emirati astronaut and the first Arab to enter the International Space Station.

“With strong determination, the people of the UAE continue in their march to explore the vast beyond–inspired by the vision of the wise leadership, who continue to provide support for various initiatives and projects that will contribute to promoting the country’s status while also consolidating its leading position as one of the most advanced countries in the world.”

The ‘Hope Probe’ is on track to reach Mars orbit early next year to coincide with the UAE’s 50th founding anniversary as a nation.

“Completing this mission to Mars will serve as a continuation to the UAE’s journey — as a shining model of prosperity, growth, innovation, progress, sustainable development, the development of human resources, and the promotion of true Emirati determination,” added Alsharaf. This project is meant to carry a message of hope–not only for the people of the UAE, but of the region and the rest of humankind–showing us that a ‘willing spirit can achieve miracles and the ambition of man has no limits’.”