Sheikh Mohammed hails UAE-US Mars data-sharing partnership

Emirates Mars Mission will work closely with Nasa to provide greater insight into the Red Planet

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has heralded a new Mars data-sharing partnership between the UAE and the US.

The Emirates Mars Mission, which launched the historic Hope probe, will work closely with Nasa's Maven Mars Mission to exchange expertise and information with the aim of further unravelling the mysteries of the Red Planet.

The Hope probe has been beaming back valuable data on Mars's atmosphere since arriving in its orbit on February 9, 2021.

Nasa's Maven craft, meanwhile, has been orbiting Mars since 2014 and could extend its space journey until 2030.

“Happy that the Hope probe project to explore Mars has signed a co-operation agreement with the Maven project of the US Space Agency with the aim of deepening humanity’s understanding of the Red Planet,” said Sheikh Mohammed on Twitter.

Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission, said international collaboration was key to space exploration.

“Since the inception of EMM, the project has been defined by strong international collaborations and partnerships,” he added.

“The opportunity to work alongside other Mars missions and derive greater insights by sharing our observations and working together to fit together the pieces of the puzzle is one we are delighted to take.

“The complementarity of EMM and Maven means we can truly gain a bigger picture together.”

The Hope probe is studying the relationship between the upper layer and lower regions of the Martian atmosphere, allowing scientists to assess how it changes during different seasons and times of the day.

Maven's mission is to investigate the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, offering insight into how the planet’s climate has changed over time.

“Maven and EMM are each exploring different aspects of the Martian atmosphere and upper-atmosphere system,” said Shannon Curry, a research scientist in planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and Maven principal investigator.

“Combined, we will have a much better understanding of the coupling between the two and the influence of the lower atmosphere on escape to space of gas from the upper atmosphere.”

The UAE last week released its latest treasure trove of Mars data captured by the Hope probe.

The third collection contains 57 gigabytes of images and information gathered from September to November of last year, bringing the total amount of data to 827.7 gigabytes.

The latest observations indicated how the Hope probe’s instruments attempted to capture motion and evolution in the atmosphere, where it observed high-density clouds in November.

“EMM science complements Maven and the Hope probe was designed to answer scientific objectives aligned directly with [Mars Exploration Programme Analysis Group] goals,” said Mr Sharaf.

“Its observations were always designed to provide new insights that weren’t possible from past Mars missions.

“Now, by combining the two data sets from the EMM and Maven missions and analysing the results together, we can build a powerful response to many fundamental questions we have about Mars and the evolution and dynamics of its atmosphere.”

Updated: April 12, 2022, 6:27 PM