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The UAE spacecraft to Mars, Hope Probe, has released the fourth batch of scientific data collected during orbit around Mars. Image Credit: GN/Archive

Abu Dhabi: Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) has released the fourth batch of scientific data collected by the Hope Probe’s instruments during orbit around Mars from December 2021 to February 2022, bringing the total data shared with the international scientific community to 688.5 gigabytes.

EMM said “the latest data demonstrate the capabilities of Hope Probe’s instruments, and its incredible performance.”

Hope Probe has identified new observations, in addition to its nominal set of observations. The latest released data include new observations from the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) to provide better coverage of the aurora. The EMUS instrument was also able to successfully observe the solar energetic particles and galactic cosmic rays through a detector background monitoring. Also, as part of a detector characterisation experiment, the EMUS observed the ability to operate on higher gain, giving more sensitivity to observations.

Hope Probe’s Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) camera also observed high cadence clouds on December 24, 2021; and well as on January 7 and 25 this year.

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Key research and insights

EMM project director Eng. Omran Sharaf said: “The new observations are a testament to the quality of the Hope Probe in driving key research and insights on Mars and its atmosphere, and we are thrilled to share the latest observations with the global scientific community.”

Sharaf noted: “As the Probe continues its planned mission to orbit around Mars, we will continue to identify ways in which we can enrich our discoveries and observations to deliver above and beyond our mission, to further enhance the international community’s knowledge and understanding of the Red Planet, and to bolster the UAE’s position in the global space domain.”

EMM Science Lead Hessa Al Matroushi added: “The recent coverage from the Mars Hope Probe is a tremendous feat and is evidence of the boundless potential that our instruments have in achieving science beyond what it was design for. The latest insights on Mars and its atmosphere reaffirm that there is much to discover, and we are looking forward to seeing the mission’s objectives of providing useful scientific data, enhancing national capabilities, and fostering global collaboration come to fruition with every new data collected.”

Martian orbit

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

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. It is also studying the relation between the higher and lower atmospheres of Mars and various other phenomena like dust storms, weather variations, and atmosphere dynamics.

Shared globally

The fourth batch of information and data was shared with the scientific community and astronomy enthusiasts from around the world via the data centre on the project’s website, where data is released every three months after the data captured by Probe’s instruments is catalogued and processed by the project’s team.

The first, second and third batches of data received considerable interest by scientists, researchers, experts, and astronomy enthusiasts from around the world. To date, 1.7 terabytes of data have been downloaded.