UAE's Hope Probe captures observations about Mars atmosphere in third batch of data
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UAE’s Hope Probe captures observations about Mars atmosphere in third batch of data

UAE’s Hope Probe captures observations about Mars atmosphere in third batch of data

The Solar Conjunction Phase took place during the data collection period


The Emirates Mars Mission ‘Hope Probe’ captured new observations about Mars atmosphere in its third batch of scientific data collected by the probe’s instruments.

The data was collected during its mission in Mars’ orbit, between September 1 and November 30, 2021.

The data from the third batch included more than 57 gigabytes of information, images, and data about the red planet’s atmosphere, making the total data released by the probe to reach 827.7 gigabytes.

Within the data, a special high cadence imagery observation took place using the Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) camera. The observation was designed to capture motion and evolution in the atmosphere, where it observed high-density clouds on November 22, 2021.

During the data collection period of the third batch, the Mars Solar Conjunction phase took place, which paused communication, science observations and data collection owed to the blocked line-of-sight communication between Earth and missions around Mars, with both planets on the opposite sides of the Sun.

During this phase, which occurs almost every two years, the Sun emits hot, ionised gas, which interfered with radio signals when communicating with the Hope Probe. Post the phase, Mars’ orbital motion around the Sun allowed the probe to regain its communication.

The third batch of information and data was shared with the scientific community via the data centre on the project’s website. Data is released every three months after it is catalogued and analysed by the project’s science team.

Omran Sharaf, project director of Emirates Mars Mission, said: “Publishing the data and images captured by the Hope Probe and sharing it with the global scientific community reflects the UAE’s commitment to supporting scientific progress in the field of space and related sciences. Sharing this data about the Red Planet’s atmosphere and climate with scientists, engineers, researchers, students, and other beneficiaries will contribute to supporting scientific research and studies that seek to find out more about Mars and its climate’s shifts and interactions.”

Hessa Al Matroushi, Emirates Mars Mission Science Lead, said: “It is very exciting to check the most recent coverage of the Mars Hope Probe. Every data downlink we receive provides us with additional insights on Mars and its atmosphere. This supports the mission’s objectives of providing useful scientific data, as well as enhancing our national capabilities, and fostering global collaboration.”

The Hope Probe’s orbit, which is between 20,000 and 43,000 km with a 25-degree incline towards Mars, gives it the ability to complete one orbit around the planet every 55 hours, capturing comprehensive data every nine days.

The probe, which weighs around 1,350kg, has released the first images and data of its kind of the hidden auroras in Mars’ atmosphere during night, as well as data about the behaviour of gases and chemical interactions in the planet’s atmosphere.

Read: UAE’s Hope probe sends first global images of Mars’ discrete aurora

The Hope Probe is studying the current state of Mars’ atmosphere and weather and the reason for the escape of hydrogen and oxygen from its upper atmosphere. Additionally, it is studying the relation between the higher and lower atmospheres of Mars and various other phenomena like dust storms, weather variations, and atmosphere dynamics.

On February 9, 2022, the UAE marked a full year since its Hope Probe reached Mars, becoming the world’s fifth country and the first in the Arab World to do so.

Read: Historic feat: One year since the UAE’s Hope Probe reached Mars


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