First Arab space mission to Mars launches from Japan

The first Arab space mission to Mars, an unmanned probe dubbed “Hope”, blasted off from Japan on Monday on a mission to reveal more about the atmosphere of the Red Planet.

The Japanese rocket carrying the probe developed by the United Arab Emirates lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan right on schedule at 6:58am local time.

An hour later, a live feed showed people applauding in the Japanese control room as the probe successfully detached.

In Dubai, the launch was met with rapturous excitement and blanket media coverage, with the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest skyscraper — lit up hours before liftoff with a symbolic 10 second countdown in anticipation.

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