Wednesday , August 4 2021

The Emirates Mars mission marks the first busy year

DUBAI – The Emirates Mars mission, the first interplanetary exploration by an Arab nation, tomorrow marks a year since the launch of the mission from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan on July 20. 2020. The mission has not only acted nominally in all countries. areas, but has exceeded expected performance, covering a number of additional activities and freeing up valuable resources to make additional observations.

“We’ve had quite a bit of ‘motion space’ in addition to our planned parameters and our confidence in our spacecraft has been growing in strength, to be honest. We’ve been able to reduce the number of trajectory correction maneuvers, make observations. during our flight to Mars and have now added an entire area of ​​scientific study to the mission that I can only describe as a “bonus.” It’s been a very busy year for Hope! ”said EMM project director Omran Sharaf.

The EMM instrument from the EMM Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) was activated during the Hope Cruise on Mars and was used to imagine Mars ’exospheric hydrogen. The instrument was also cross-calibrated with the PHEBUS spectrometer aboard the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo spacecraft, en route to Mercury.

“These experiments were possible simply because Mars Hope was in such good shape,” commented Hessa Al Matroushi, scientific head of EMM.

Because resources were available and the spacecraft’s performance exceeded both planning scenarios, the dust tracking feature of Mars Hope’s star-tracking instruments was also enabled, allowing it to measure interplanetary dust following Mars. while revolving around the sun.

With the success of the Mars Orbit Insertion (MOI) maneuver, which took place on February 9, 2021, the Mars Hope spacecraft once again performed flawlessly, moving into its unique scientific orbit. and highly elliptical at 20,000 by 43,000 miles on March 23 with its last major scheduled burn. of its six Delta-V engines.

All three instruments on the probe were activated on April 10 and a period of commissioning and testing followed, before the scientific phase of the mission formally began on May 23. It was during this period that the EMM scientific team first made the impressive observations of the discrete aurora of Mars that have electrified the global scientific community of Mars, publishing the first global images of the discrete aurora of Mars. Mars at the ultraviolet end and providing new insights into discrete aurora phenomenon in the nocturnal atmosphere of Mars.

Using additional data processing and available bandwidth, the mission can continue to make periodic observations of the auroras of Mars. Hope’s EMUS, the most sensitive ultraviolet instrument orbiting Mars, is capable of imagining these dynamic auroral events worldwide at high resolution and across a wide range of wavelengths, providing a unprecedented window on the interaction of the atmosphere with solar particles.

Although previous studies had theorized that the discrete aurora was linked to the magnetic fields of Mars and existing observations had been consistent with this theory, previous images of this phenomenon with this quality had only been available as impressions of the artist.

“Mars auroras are an area of ​​intense interest to the global scientific community and their study has enormous potential to challenge, expand and deepen our understanding of Mars’ atmosphere and its interaction with the planet and with solar energy, ”Al Matroushi said. “We hoped that EMUS could contribute in this area, but we now know with absolute certainty that the contribution will be innovative.” Hope follows its predicted elliptical scientific orbit of 20,000 to 43,000 km, with a 25-degree tilt to Mars. The spacecraft will complete an orbit of the planet every 55 hours and capture a complete sample of planetary data every nine days on its two-year mission to map the atmospheric dynamics of the Sea. The scientific data for the mission will be published worldwide without embargo, after a period of validation and verification, in October 2021.

EMM and the Hope spacecraft are the culmination of a knowledge transfer and development effort begun in 2006, which has enabled Emirati engineers to work with partners around the world to develop the Emirates’ spacecraft design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. United Arabs. Hope is a fully autonomous spacecraft that carries three instruments to measure the atmosphere of Mars. Weighing about 1,350 kg and the size of a small SUV, the spacecraft was designed and developed by MBRSC engineers working with academic partners, including LASP at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The Emirates Mars mission will study the Martian atmosphere, the relationship between the upper layer and the lower regions, and, for the first time, the international scientific community will have full access to a holistic view of the Martian atmosphere at different times of the day. from different stations. In addition, it will now aim to contribute significantly to our understanding of the auroras of Mars.

The historic journey of Hope Probe to the Red Planet coincides with a year of celebrations on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the United Arab Emirates.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.

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