UAE's Hope Probe enters orbit of Mars

The Mars program is part of the UAE's efforts to develop its scientific and technological capabilities and reduce its reliance on oil. The UAE Space Agency, the fifth globally to reach the planet, even has a plan for a Mars settlement by 2117.

The attempt had a 50% chance of failing, Dubai's ruler and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had said. To enter Mars' orbit, the probe needed to burn around half its 800 kg (1,760 lbs) of onboard fuel to slow down enough not to overshoot, the most dangerous part of the journey.

This year marks 50 years since independence from Britain and the founding of the UAE federation, which groups seven emirates, including Dubai. Mars probes launched by China and NASA just after the UAE's lift-off in July are also set to reach the planet this month.

The Emirates Mars Mission, which has cost around $200 million, launched the Hope Probe from a Japanese space center. It aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.