How’s the weather up there? UAE space mission seeks to better understand climate on Mars

Emirati mission has entered data-gathering stage of groundbreaking journey

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The information has started to stream back, travelling more than 340 million kilometres from Mars to the UAE.

The Emirates Mars Mission has entered the data-gathering stage of its groundbreaking journey and for the next two years, the Hope probe will gather and transmit vital details about the Red Planet's climate.

Data beamed back from the probe will help scientists to better understand how and why Mars lost most of its atmosphere.

Each step of the mission marks a significant milestone in the UAE’s space odyssey.

“Now we will get the true taste of exploring Mars very soon, and we are getting the data and experiencing that,” Omran Sharaf, project director of the mission, said on Thursday.

The past few weeks have been exhilarating for those involved with the Hope probe.

“I've never stared at a screen as much as I have when I've seen data coming from the Mars mission,” said Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology.

“It's just mesmerising, regardless of which one of the three instruments it came from.”

Ms Al Amiri and Mr Sharaf joined the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington for a conversation on the UAE’s space programme and Mars mission.

The lively online chat revealed the excitement around the mission for those who have dedicated the past six years to it.

“Every single instrument, every single image that has come out was an experience that I think I can't describe, especially doing this for the first time, and not experiencing having another mission around another planet before this one,” Ms Al Amiri said.

“It's just been interesting and quite inspiring for myself and I think for a lot of members of the team.”