Here’s why the United Arab Emirates launched a mission to Mars

 The United Arab Emirates’ probe Hope is on its way to Mars, marking the first planetary science mission led by an Arab country.

A July 19 launch from Japan marked the start of Hope satellite’s journey to Mars. But the project (named Al-Amal in Arabic, which translates to Hope in English) has been underway for six years, since UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the project in July 2014. Hope will orbit the Red Planet, collecting data on its atmosphere in order to offer scientists better information about Mars’s possible life-giving past and more barren present.

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