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UAE probe reaches Mars' orbit

Hope Probe launched in July and is the first Mars mission conducted by an Arab state.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 09: A man reacts as Hope Probe enters the orbit of Mars at Burj Park on February 09, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If successful, the UAE's space program would be the fifth to reach the Martian orbit, after the US, Russia, the EU, and India. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The United Arab Emirates’ Mars probe reached the planet’s orbit on Tuesday, the state-run Emirates News Agency reported.

The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe has traveled more than 480 million kilometers (nearly 300 million miles), according to the tracker on the UAE Space Agency website.

Hope Probe constitutes the first Mars mission conducted by an Arab country. It launched in July and will study the Martian atmosphere. The probe's leader, Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum, said he wants the expedition to provide hope for Arabs regarding scientific achievement.

Hope Probe reached Mars’ orbit during its target month of February. It will spend more than a year circling the planet.

The Mars mission is a major public relations endeavor for the UAE. The Gulf state made Hope Probe’s progress available online in October.

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