Last year, the world watched the live video feed from UAE’s Hope Probe with bated breath as it crossed into the Martian orbit. The event marked Middle East’s foray into the space race, putting UAE in the same league as the US and China. Since then, the cosmic mission has relayed two sets of scientific data back to Dubai’s MBR space center.
The Hope Probe has now sent another batch of information and visuals, detailing the changes in the Martian atmosphere. It used the Emirates Exploration Imager camera, to capture a series of images in quick succession to depict transition. The visuals available on the Emirates Mars Mission website documented the formation of high-density clouds above the planet.
The clouds shown in the video were taken by the EXI on November 22, 2021, and are made up of 9 images taken 5 minutes apart. The goal of these images is to estimate winds & to observe the evolution of the phenomena of clouds growth and movement or the evolution of dust storms. pic.twitter.com/t4VM6Yipjf
— Hope Mars Mission (@HopeMarsMission) April 8, 2022
The EXI camera is capable of taking 12-megapixel images and studying the spatial distribution of components in the atmosphere. This means that it can measure the presence of aerosol and ozone while tracking dust storms in the Martian environment.
Information was collected despite a pause in communication due to the Mars Solar Conjunction. As part of this cosmic event, Mars and Earth were on opposite sides of the sun, blocking radio signals from the Hope Probe. So far more than 827 gigabytes of data about the Martian atmosphere and seasons changes on the planet, have been received from the Hope Probe.
Hope Probe’s journey started with Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed sharing an image of Mars as a red dot in the universe captured by the mission. Later it relayed more detailed visuals, including a major dust storm that hit the red planet last month. The Mars mission also allowed researchers to observe bright lights or aurora in the planet’s night sky.
Apart from EXI, the Hope Probe also carries an infrared spectrometer for measuring dust, ice, and water in the Martian atmosphere. Another instrument is an ultraviolet spectrometer, which focuses on the gas which escapes the planet’s environment.
Hope Probe’s success has accelerated the UAE’s campaign to send a rover to the Moon. This will be followed by a mission to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.