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UAE on edge as ‘Hope’ probe poised to enter Mars orbit

A tense half-hour today will determine the fate of the UAE’s “Hope” probe to Mars, as the Arab world’s first space mission carries out a tricky maneuver 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 Earth and Mars are closest together.

Landmarks across the Gulf state have been lit up in red at night and government accounts and police patrol cars emblazoned with the #ArabstoMars hashtag.

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