by Esquire Middle East
  • 2 minute read
  • February 09, 2021
Did You Know You Can Get A Martian Ink Stamp On Your Passport Today?

If you’re travelling into the UAE today, you’re in luck. On 9 February, all visitors to the UAE will receive a Martian Ink stamp on their passports in commemoration of the Hope Probe’s arrival in Mars orbit.

What’s Martian Ink exactly? It’s the ink made from the same rocks that make Mars the Red Planet. The limited-edition materials, the first time this has ever been done, are created from volcanic basalt rocks, the same ones that give Mars its distinct rusty color. What’s more, the rocks were collected from The UAE. Each were found during a special mission to the UAE’s eastern Al Hajar Mountains and Sharjah’s Mleiha Desert by experts and gemologists.

To make the ink, the rocks were then crushed into a fine paste, dried in the sun, and mixed with adhesives to create three separate colors that represent the Red Planet, all ready for stamping into the passports of thousands of visitors. Basalt rock can only be found in certain parts of the world, and date back tens of millions of years. Just like they do on Mars, the rocks give the UAE’s mountain ranges their distinct look.

“To commemorate this historic occasion and celebrate the mission’s incredible victory with the rest of the world, we have created a special stamp printed with ‘Martian Ink’ – made of basalt rocks found in the deserts of the UAE. This will be embossed on the passports of all the visitors to the UAE arriving at this time for a limited period,” said Khaled Al Shehhi, Executive Director of Production and Digital Communication Sector, UAE Government Media Office.

Hype is high for the Hope Probe’s entrance into Mars’ orbit. The most dangerous part of its voyage, as the maneuver involves reversing the spacecraft and firing the Hope Probe’s six Delta-V thrusters in a 27-minute ‘burn’ to rapidly slow down the speed of the spacecraft from 121,000 km/h to 18,000 km/h.

During this phase, Mars Orbit Insertion, contact between the probe and the Operations team are kept to a minimum. If it enters Martian orbit successfully, the Hope Probe will transition to the ‘Science’ phase, and capture and transmit the first photo of Mars within a week.

At that point, it will commence its mission to build the first complete picture of the Martian atmosphere using its three advanced scientific instruments that will continue to relay data of the Red Planet’s atmosphere for one Martian year, equivalent to 687 Earth days.

Via Esquire Middle East

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