UAE and US Mars Missions to Collaborate on Science Data Analysis – Parabolic Arc


DUBAI, 12 April, 2022 (UAE Government Media Office) — The Emirates Mars mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has finalized a scientific data analysis collaboration initiative with the MAVEN Mars mission of NASA, which will pave the way for greater scientific research collaboration and data exchange between the two missions.

The partnership enables the sharing and collaborative analysis of data and observations made by the Hope probe of the Emirates Mars mission (EMM) and NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) project and will improve the scientific returns of the two machines spacecraft, which are currently in orbit around Mars and observing the atmosphere of the red planet. The arrangement is expected to add significant value to both EMM and MAVEN and to the global scientific communities analyzing the data the missions collect.

“Since EMM’s inception, the project has been defined by strong international collaborations and partnerships. We are excited to take the opportunity to work alongside other Mars missions and gain better insights by sharing our observations and working together to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The complementarity of EMM and MAVEN means that we can really see the bigger picture together. said Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission.

MAVEN completed its insertion into Mars orbit in 2014. Its mission is to study the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, providing insight into how the planet’s climate is changing over time.

“MAVEN and EMM are each exploring different aspects of the Martian atmosphere and upper atmosphere system. Together we will have a much better understanding of the coupling between the two and the influence of the lower atmosphere on the escape of gases from the upper atmosphere to space,” said Shannon Curry, a planetary scientist at the University of California at Berkeley. and MAVEN Principal Investigator.

The Emirates Mars mission’s Hope probe, which entered Mars orbit on February 9, 2021, is studying the relationship between the upper layer and the lower regions of the Martian atmosphere, giving the international scientific community full access to a holistic view. of the planet’s atmosphere at different times. of the day, through the different seasons.

Sharaf added, “Maven’s comprehensive EMM science and Hope probe was designed to meet scientific objectives directly aligned with MEPAG objectives. His observations were always designed to provide new information that was not possible with past missions to Mars. Now, by combining the two datasets from the EMM and MAVEN missions and analyzing the results together, we can build a powerful answer to many fundamental questions we have about Mars and the evolution and dynamics of its atmosphere.

EMM was designed to meet a number of objectives defined by the global grouping of Mars scientists and researchers, MEPAG – Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. Following on from MAVEN and other previous missions, Hope set out to measure the global, diurnal and seasonal response of the Martian atmosphere to solar forcing; atmospheric conditions relating to atmospheric escape rate – particularly of hydrogen and oxygen and the temporal and spatial behavior of the Mars exosphere. With early results showing exciting observations of discrete Mars auroras and additional bandwidth and resources available to encompass additional observations, further measurements of auroral phenomena have been incorporated into mission objectives, extending its capabilities beyond of Hope’s planned objectives.

Mars Hope carries three instruments:

EXI – The Emirates eXploration Imager digital camera captures images of Mars at 2-4 km resolution while measuring the amount of water ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere through UV bands.

EMIRS – The Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer measures the energy emitted by the Martian surface and atmosphere, deriving the global distribution of dust, ice cloud and water vapor in the Martian lower atmosphere.

EMUS – Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer measures oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermosphere and hydrogen and oxygen variability in the exosphere.

EMM and Hope Probe are the culmination of a knowledge transfer and development effort that began in 2006, which has seen Emirati engineers work with partners around the world to develop design, engineering and manufacture of UAE spacecraft.

Weighing some 1,350 kg and approximately the size of a small SUV, the spacecraft was designed and developed by engineers at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) working with academic partners including the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) from the University of Colorado, Boulder; Arizona State University and the University of California at Berkeley.

The MAVEN mission is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for the University of California, Berkeley’s principal investigator. Spacecraft operations are conducted by Lockheed Martin and science operations by the University of Colorado Atmospheric and Space Physics Laboratory.

About the Emirates Mars Mission

Announced in July 2014 by the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Emirates Mars Mission was developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), in collaboration with its knowledge transfer partners and funded by the United Arab Emirates Space Agency.

Conceptualized to disrupt and accelerate the UAE’s space sector by shaping a scientific community and boosting space education in the country, the probe aims to create the first comprehensive picture of Mars’ climate throughout the Martian year.

The Hope probe reached Mars orbit in 2021, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates, which became an independent nation on December 2, 1971.


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