World UAE on edge as 'Hope' probe poised to enter Mars orbit
UAE ready to cooperate with UN, new US administration on Libya
Announcement comes a day after the US called out the UAE for its role in the North African country’s civil war.“There is an urgent need for renewed diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Libya,” Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE ambassador to the UN, said in a letter on Friday.
A tense half-hour on Tuesday will determine the fate of the UAE's "Hope" probe to Mars, as the Arab world's first space mission carries out a tricky manoeuvre to enter the Red Planet's orbit.
If successful, the probe which is designed to reveal the secrets of Martian weather, will become the first of three spacecraft to arrive at the Red Planet this month.
The United Arab Emirates, China and the United States all launched missions last July, taking advantage of a period when the Earth and Mars are nearest.
The venture marks the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE's seven emirates.
UAE to offer citizenship to 'talented' foreigners
The Gulf state relies on its immigrant population but has never before granted citizenship rights.UAE Vice-President and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum said those eligible would include investors, specialised talents, doctors, engineers and artists.
Landmarks across the Gulf state have been lit up in red at night and government accounts emblazoned with the #ArabstoMars hashtag.
Hope will begin a 27-minute "burn" at 1530 GMT to slow itself enough to be pulled in by Martian gravity, in what Emirati officials say is the most challenging part of the mission.
It will rotate and fire all six of its powerful thrusters to dramatically slow its average cruising speed of 121,000 kilometres (75,000 miles) per hour to about 18,000 kph.
With an 11-minute communications lag -- the time it takes for a signal to travel back to Earth -- the spacecraft must be highly autonomous.
Iran completes satellite-carrying rocket test launch
Iran says the new Zuljanah rocket will place a satellite into orbit after it completes future test launches.State television aired footage of the rocket being fired in daylight on Monday in a desert area but it is unclear exactly when or where the launch took place.
"Twenty-seven blind minutes will determine the fate of seven years of work," Sarah Al-Amiri, chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency and minister of state for advanced technology, tweeted this week.
The "burn" will end at 1557 GMT, and at 1608 GMT the UAE will have its moment of truth.
If all goes well, Dubai's needle-shaped Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, will be at the centre of a celebratory show.
- 50-50 chance -
"This project means a lot for the nation, for the whole region, and for the global scientific and space community," Omran Sharaf, the mission's project manager, told AFP.
"It's not about reaching Mars, it's a tool for a much bigger objective. The government wanted to see a big shift in the mindset of Emirati youth... to expedite the creation of an advanced science and technology sector in the UAE."
SpaceX's new Starship rocket prototype soared 6 miles above Texas, but exploded during a landing attempt
SpaceX launched a 16-story prototype of its Starship Mars rocket system 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) above Boca Chica, Texas on Tuesday. The prototype, called SN9, was supposed to attempt a soft landing, but the spaceship slammed into the ground sideways and exploded. This is the second time the aerospace company, founded by Elon Musk, has launched such an ambitious Starship flight and seen the vehicle destroyed upon landing. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Through the south Texas haze on Tuesday, SpaceX pulled off a stunning high-altitude test flight of a Starship rocket prototype.
While the probe is designed to provide a comprehensive image of the planet's weather dynamics, it is also a step towards a much more ambitious goal -- building a human settlement on Mars within 100 years.
Apart from cementing its status as a key regional player, the UAE also wants the project to serve as a source of inspiration for Arab youth, in a region too often wracked by sectarian conflicts and economic crises.
"The probe has a 50 percent success rate in entering Mars' orbit, but we achieved 90 percent of our goals in building new knowledge," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE prime minister and Dubai's ruler, wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
Unlike the other two Mars ventures, China's Tianwen-1 and Mars 2020 from the United States, the UAE's probe will not land on the Red Planet.
Hope will use three scientific instruments to monitor the planet's atmosphere, and is expected to begin transmitting data back to Earth in September 2021, to be made available to scientists around the world.
UAE jails Jordanian for 10 years for criticising Jordan’s gov’t .
HRW says Ahmed Etoum was sentenced in October solely for peaceful Facebook posts on corruption, inequality in Jordan.Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged authorities in the UAE to immediately release 46-year-old Ahmed Etoum, saying he was convicted solely for his “peaceful criticism of the Jordanian royal family and government”.