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File picture of the Hope Probe Image Credit: Supplied

Baku: The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Probe team has won the 2023 Laurels for Team Achievement Award for providing the global scientific community with significant new data about Mars.

Findings from the Hope Probe unmanned spacecraft contributed to drawing a complete map of Mars’ atmosphere, in addition to revealing unprecedented observations of the smaller Mars moon Deimos.

The Award was presented by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) during the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2023) held in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

UAE Space Agency Chairperson Sarah Al Amiri, who is also the Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: “The acknowledgement from the IAA highlights our extraordinary international collaboration, pulling together a tight-knit team from around the world to work together with a single goal and not only achieve that goal but create a truly transformational project that impacts an entire nation’s progress in the fields of space science, research and technological innovation.”

The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation, was developed by an international team made up of members from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in Dubai, UAE, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University and the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. This team, together with scientists from the US, Europe and the UAE was managed as a single, integrated team to deliver an interplanetary mission with a revolutionary approach to mission design, management and execution.

Winning team members

Presented annually by the IAA, the Award is the Academy’s highest team distinction. The Hope Probe team representing the UAE, including Sarah Al Amiri, and Omran Sharaf, assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for Advanced Sciences and Technology, from the project’s leadership team, were honoured by the Academy.

As for the scientific team, IAA recognition includes Hessa Al Matroushi, Hoor Al Mazmi, Nora Al Maheiri, Mariam Al Shamsi, Khaled Badri, Eman Al Tunaiji, Fatima Lootah, and Mariam Yousef.

From the engineering team, the Academy recognised the following engineers: Mohsen Al Awadhi, Suhail Al Dhafri, Omran Al Hammad, Hamad Al Hazami, Khulood Al Harmoudi, Mahmoud Al Nasser, Zakarrya Al Shamsi, Ahmed Al Shehhi, Omar Al Shehhi, Ali Al Suwaidi, Mohammed Khouri, Ayesha Sharafi, and Mohammed Wali.

Showcasing UAE in space

Meanwhile, MBRSC announced its participation at IAC 2023, as a Golden Sponsor.

Under this year’s theme of ‘Global Challenges and Opportunities: Give Space a Chance’, MBRSC’s participation will highlight the remarkable achievements of UAE’s astronauts, symbolising the nation’s growing contribution to space exploration with UAE astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi’s six-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS).

MBRSC will also showcase its cutting-edge satellite projects, including KhalifaSat, and the upcoming MBZ-SAT, as well as the Emirates Lunar Mission’s Rashid Rover. Attendees will also learn about the upcoming plans for the eagerly anticipated Emirates Lunar Mission 2.

The centre said it will further highlight the significant achievements of the Emirates Mars Mission, renowned for its crucial scientific contributions while shedding light on the Mars 2117 project through which the UAE aims to establish the first inhabitable human settlement on Mars by 2117.

Over the five-days of IAC from Monday, MBRSC will be engaging actively in sessions with over 20 of its delegates, spearheaded by Salem AlMarri, Director-General, MBRSC, Adnan AlRais, Assistant Director-General for Space Operations and Exploration, MBRSC and MBRSC Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori who is also the Astronauts Office Manager.