DUBAI, 7th February, 2022 (WAM) — The Emirates Mars Mission, 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 76 GB of raw data has been uploaded to the EMM Science Data Centre and is available at https://sdc.emiratesmarsmission.ae as part of the second batch of scientific observations collected by the Hope Probe. The data represents the core result of the scientific mission to explore the climate and atmosphere on Mars.
The data includes information, images and insights collected by the state-of-the-art scientific equipment carried by the Hope Probe between 23rd May and 31st August 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 9th February and 22nd, May 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 atomic oxygen density and pointing to unusual levels of atmospheric turbulence.
The observations also confounded the scientists’ perceptions on the distribution of ultraviolet light emitted from the upper atmosphere of Mars. The first data set received significant interest from scientists, researchers, and space enthusiasts. During the first ten days of the publication of the data on the project’s website, around two terabytes of data, including 1.5 terabytes of images, were downloaded.
Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission (the 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 that the second batch of scientific data included important and unprecedented information that will help the global scientific community develop more accurate scientific models of the atmosphere on the Red Planet, and contribute 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 worldwide interested in space science and exploration,” she added.
The Hope Probe is carrying three state-of-the-art 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.
The Hope Probe will continue its planned elliptical scientific orbit around Mars, which ranges between 20,000 and 43,000 km 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 Centre (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.