Dubai: Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary mission undertaken by an Arab nation, has released the second tranche of observations to a global audience of scientists, researchers, educationalists and enthusiasts.
Over 76GB of raw data has been uploaded to the EMM Science Data Centre as part of the second batch of scientific observations collected by Hope Probe. The data represents the core result of the scientific mission undertaken by the Hope Probe to explore the climate and atmosphere on Mars.
The publication of the second batch of data – available at EMM’s website – reinforces the UAE’s commitment to share valuable and unprecedented scientific data freely with the global scientific community to help scientists, researchers, and space enthusiasts better understand the phenomena and interactions on the atmosphere of the Red Planet.
The second data release includes information, images and insights collected by the scientific equipment carried by the Hope Probe between May 23 and August 31, 2021. This is part of the EMM’s commitment to publish scientific data collected by Hope every three months.
The first set of data from the Hope Probe, collected between February 9 and May 22, 2021, was shared in October 2021. The first data release included unique images of Mars showing vast structures at a range of wavelengths suggesting a higher-than-expected variation in the density of atomic oxygen and pointing to unusual levels of atmospheric turbulence.
The observations also confound the scientists’ perceptions on the distribution of ultraviolet light emitted from the upper atmosphere of Mars. The first set of data received significant interest from scientists, researchers, and space enthusiasts. During the first 10 days of the publication of the data on the project’s website, around 2 terabytes of data, including 1.5 terabytes of images, were downloaded.
Engineer Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the EMM Hope Probe, said: “The release of the second batch of scientific data collected by Hope Probe reflects the Emirates’ goal of making the observations freely available globally. We have already seen startling new observations from Hope and look forward to deriving important new insights into Mars’ atmospheric dynamics and sharing them with the world.”
Hessa Al Matroushi, Deputy Programme Manager and Science Lead of the Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe, said: “The second batch of scientific data collected by Hope Probe from May 23, 2021 to August 31, 2021, includes important and unprecedented information that will help the global scientific community develop more accurate scientific models of the atmosphere in the Red Planet, and contributes to a deeper understanding of its changes. We will continue to make available and publish new batches of data every three months to maximise the use of such data for the scientists and researchers around the world interested in space science and exploration.”
The Hope Probe is carrying three instruments: the Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) camera to capture high-resolution, digital coloured images of the Red Planet to measure ice and stratospheric ozone in the lower atmosphere; the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) to measure temperature and the distribution of dust, water vapour and ice clouds; and the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) to study oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in the planet’s thermal layer, as well as the presence of hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere.
The scientific mission focuses on collecting data and observations that help study the relationship between the upper and lower layers of the Martian atmosphere, which offers a comprehensive overview of the Red Planet’s climate and its atmosphere at different times of the day and throughout the seasons of the Martian year.
About the mission
The Hope Probe will continue its planned elliptical scientific orbit around Mars, which ranges between 20,000km and 43,000km with a 25-degree inclination toward Mars, giving it the unique ability to complete one orbit around the planet every 55 hours, capturing comprehensive observations of the planet every nine days.
The project is a culmination of knowledge transfer and development efforts that started in 2006, which has led to Emirati engineers working with scientific partners from across the globe to develop the design of satellites and their manufacturing and engineering capabilities.
The Hope Probe weighs around 1,350kg - the size of a small car - and was designed and developed by the engineers at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), in collaboration with its academic partners, including the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University, and the University of California, Berkeley.