The first Arab space mission to Mars has blasted off aboard a rocket from Japan, with its unmanned probe - called Al-Amal, or Hope - successfully separating about an hour after liftoff. A live feed of the launch showed the rocket carrying the probe lifting off from the Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan. Almost exactly one hour later, the feed showed people applauding in the Japanese control room as the probe successfully detached. In Dubai, the launch was met with rapturous excitement, with the UAE Mars mission's deputy project manager Sarah al-Amiri declaring it "an indescribable feeling" to see the probe blasting off. Hope is expected to reach Mars's orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.
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