UAE Mars mission: Hope Probe reveals new data about Red Planet

The latest updates include observations of dust movement, stellar light detection, and a field-of-view mapping experiment

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Published: Sat 29 Apr 2023, 2:52 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Apr 2023, 2:58 PM

The Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) Hope Probe has released the seventh batch of data that can help the world understand the Red Planet's atmosphere.

With this new information, the total amount of data that the probe has released is now 2.1 terabytes. All these can be accessed through the mission’s Science Data Centre.

The latest updates were captured by the probe's three instruments — EMIRS, EMUS, and EXI — between September 1, 2022, and November 30, 2022.

These include high-cadence observations of dust movement as recorded by the Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) on August 25; September 6, 13, 15, 24; October 1, 6, 15, 19/20, 29; and November 9/10, 16, 2022.

The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) also performed the first observation of stellar occultation in Extreme Ultraviolet wavelengths to study the Martian upper atmosphere.

Data captured by EMUS between October 24 and 27, 2022, contains stellar occultation observations where the instrument detects stellar light as it passes through the atmosphere of Mars allowing for the retrieval of densities of CO2 and other species, along with their vertical distributions.

The data set also includes a field-of-view (FOV) mapping experiment for EMUS that was carried out on October 3, 2022. By using spacecraft slews to repeatedly drift a star across the instrument FOV as it observes, the team is able to confirm instrument alignment and refine pointing knowledge.

Valuable information

“The Hope Probe's data and observations come in line with an increased global interest in understanding Mars,” said Zakareyya Al Shamsi, project director of the EMM.

“The various data batches captured by the Emirates Mars Mission provide the international scientific community with valuable information while highlighting the UAE as a key contributor to the development of space science and technology.”

According to Al Shamsi, the EMM team will continue to analyse and release new data on Mars every three months "to provide a deeper understanding of the natural phenomena on the Red Planet".

Announced in July 2014, the Mars mission has been developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), in conjunction with its knowledge transfer partners and funded by the UAE Space Agency.

The Hope Probe reached Mars orbit in 2021, the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the UAE, which became an independent nation on December 2, 1971

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