Otago Daily Times

UAE craft makes it to Mars


Dubai: A United Arab Emirates spacecraft yesterday swung into orbit around Mars in a triumph for the Arab world’s first interplane­tary mission.

Ground controller­s at the UAE’s space centre in Dubai rose to their feet and broke into applause when word came that the craft, called Amal, Arabic for Hope, had reached the end of its sevenmonth, 482 millionkil­ometre journey and had begun circling the red planet, where it will gather data on Mars’ atmosphere.

The orbiter fired its main engines for 27 minutes in an intricate, highstakes manoeuvre that slowed the craft enough for it to be captured by Mars’ gravity. It took a nailbiting 11 minutes for the signal confirming success to reach Earth.

Two more unmanned spacecraft from the US and China are following close behind, set to arrive at Mars during the next several days. — AP

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