An H-2A rocket carrying the Hope Probe, developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Mars explore, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the island of Tanegashima, Japan, in this handout photo taken and released on July 20, 2020 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries/Handout via Reuters)
The Hope Probe blasted off from Japans Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. UAE time/6:58 a.m. Japanese time Monday (2158 GMT Sunday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet, where it will orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.
The first Arab mission to Mars was initially due to launch on July 14, but has been delayed twice due to bad weather.
Just over an hour after launch, the probe deployed solar panels to power its systems and established radio communication with the mission on earth.
There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface. The United States and China each plan to send another this year.
The Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million, according to Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri. It aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.