The United Arab Emirates has disclosed plan to launch its first mission to Mars.
The mission, which is scheduled to launch on Monday is aimed at moving away from over reliance on oil and developing scientific and technology capabilities.
The Hope Probe will launch from Japan’s 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.
There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface. China and the United States have also planned to send another this year.
Minister for Advanced Sciences Sarah Amiri stated that the Emirates Mars Mission has cost $200 million.
The UAE first announced plans for the mission in 2014 and launched a National Space Programme in 2017 to develop local expertise.
Its population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big spacefaring nations.