UAE to send unmanned probe to Mars

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced that it will undertake the first Arab mission to Mars by launching an unmanned probe to the planet, officials announced on Wednesday.

"The Emirates Mars Mission will be a great contribution to human knowledge, a milestone for Arab civilization, and a real investment for future generations,"  Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said. "This probe represents hope for millions of young Arabs looking for a better future."

The planned launch of the probe will take place in 2020, and the mission aims to fill gaps within humanity's knowledge of Mars. Specifically the probe, Hope, aims to collect data on why the planet's atmosphere is disintegrating into outer space. According to the announcement, the planet's atmosphere is so thin that liquid water does not exist on the planet as far as scientists are aware.

All mission personnel will be from the UAE, the report states, to facilitate the development of scientists and engineers within the UAE and to help the sector grow in the future.

The mission will have the probe orbit Mars until 2023, with the possibility to extend its study until 2025.