Scientists working on the Hope Probe
Scientists working on the Hope Probe Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The countdown has begun and the world is ready to watch the UAE make history when it launches its Mars probe on July 15.

The UAE Space Agency is all set to live stream the launch of Hope Probe at 12.51 am UAE time on Wednesday via the website

"It's the only planet where we've been able to detect past signs of life, and the more we learn about it more hope there is," Michel Viso, an astrobiologist at CNES, France's space agency, told AFP. 

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is the UAE’s first mission to Mars. EMM is designed to orbit Mars and study the dynamics in the Martian atmosphere on a global scale, and on both diurnal and seasonal timescales. Using three scientific instruments on board of the spacecraft, EMM will provide a set of measurements fundamental to an improved understanding of circulation and weather in the Martian lower and middle atmosphere. Combining such data with the monitoring of the upper layers of the atmosphere, EMM measurements will reveal the mechanisms behind the upward transport of energy and particles, and the subsequent escape of atmospheric particles from the gravity of Mars.

The Emirates Mars Mission ‘Hope Probe’ is tasked to provide the first ever complete picture of the Martian atmosphere. Three state-of-the-art science instruments have been designed to study the different aspects of the Martian Atmosphere.


Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer

Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer. Image Credit: Supplied

The EMIRS instrument is an interferometric thermal infrared spectrometer that will give a better understanding of the energy balance in the current Martian climate by characterizing the state of the lower Martian atmosphere and the processes that are driving the global circulation.

Understanding the energy balance will help in identifying the sources and sinks of energy globally and how the lower atmosphere responds to solar forcing diurnally and seasonally. Specifically, the EMIRS instrument will look at the thermal state in the lower atmosphere, the geographical distribution of dust, water vapor and water ice, as well as the three-dimensional thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere and its variability on sub-seasonal timescales. The EMIRS instrument has a rotating mirror that will allow the instrument to do scans of Mars.


Emirates Exploration Imager

EXI Mars Probe
Emirates Exploration Imager Image Credit: Supplied

The EXI instrument is a multi-wavelength radiation tolerant camera, EXI is capable of taking 12-megapixel images while maintaining the radiometric calibration needed for detailed scientific analysis. The instrument was being developed by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). The flexible readout modes allow customization of resolution, regions of interest and frame rate to meet the needs of the user and available memory and bandwidth.


Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer

Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer
Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer Image Credit: Supplied

The EMUS instrument is a far ultraviolet spectrometer designed to fulfil two out of the four EMM investigations that relate to thermospheric (100-200 km altitude) and exospheric (> 200 km altitude) variability, respectively. EMUS will have a spatial resolution to make the required observations of ultraviolet emissions of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon monoxide. The spectral resolutions are chosen in order to distinguish between the emissions of interest from other bright emissions and to resolve carbon monoxide emissions.