Emirates Mars Mission publishes new Mars observations

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) has released a series of new observations drawn from the first measurements of Mars’ atmosphere across a full Martian year (two full Earth years).

Image: Emirates Mars Mission

The release celebrates the third year of science data gathering around Mars by the Hope probe and marks the accomplishment of the Mission’s stated science objectives.

His Excellency Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, director general, UAE Space Agency, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The Emirates Mars Mission was conceived to provide a national challenge that would accelerate the development not only of the UAE’s engineering capabilities, but to disrupt our education, research and innovation ecosystems. There is no doubt at all that it has succeeded in that beyond our wildest expectations. At the outset, the UAE’s leadership made it clear that EMM should make a significant scientific contribution and we can now say that the mission not only fulfilled its original science objectives, but has significantly surpassed them.”

EMM was designed to achieve three objectives that complemented questions posed by the global grouping of Mars scientists and researchers, MEPAG - the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. Hope set out to monitor the global, diurnal, and seasonal changes that the Martian atmosphere undergoes due to year-to-year variations including those caused by solar forcing that result in atmospheric escape – particularly of Hydrogen and Oxygen and the temporal and spatial behaviour of Mars’ atmosphere.

Hoor Al Mazmi, EMM Project Manager, commented: “We can say with confidence that EMM has blown past its original stated science objectives. Not only have we achieved our goals, and taken Hope into an extended mission, but we have added unique new discoveries, from investigations of new types of aurora through to the most extensive new observations of Mars’ least known moon, Deimos.”

“Hope’s unique elliptical orbit supports these unique observations, giving us a near-complete picture of the planet’s atmospheric dynamics every nine days. That has enabled us to create an incredible depiction of Mars’ changing atmosphere day and night, across the seasons and throughout a full Martian year.” Said Mohsen Al Awadhi, Director of Space Missions Department at UAE Space Agency, “With the probe performing optimally, we performed a manoeuvre to support a season of Deimos observations and I can say today that we still have the option, from an engineering point of view, of further extending the mission.”