HOPE Mission- the first Arab interplanetary mission is expected to reach Mars’ orbit on Tuesday in what is considered the most critical part of the journey to unravel the secrets of weather on the Red Planet.
- The Emirates Mars Mission called “Hope” was announced in 2015 with the aim of creating mankind’s first integrated model of the Red planet’s atmosphere.
- Hope weighs over 1500 kg and will carry scientific instruments mounted on one side of the spacecraft, including the Emirates exploration Imager (EXI), which is a high-resolution camera among others.
- The spacecraft will orbit Mars to study the Martian atmosphere and its interaction with outer space and solar winds.
- Hope will collect data on Martian climate dynamics, which should help scientists understand why Mars’ atmosphere is decaying into space.
Objectives of the mission
- Once it launches, Hope will orbit Mars for around 200 days, after which it will enter the Red planet’s orbit by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of UAE.
- The mission is being executed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE’s space agency.
- It will help answer key questions about the global Martian atmosphere and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space over the span of one Martian year.
- With the successful Mars orbit insertion, the UAE becomes the fifth entity to reach the Red Planet, joining NASA, the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency and India.
- Success of this mission will help UAE in building a knowledge-based economy, leading to more investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for young Emiratis.
- The probe reached Mars in the year the UAE celebrates its 50th anniversary.
- ‘Hope’ mission is not only important for UAE, but also for the whole of Arab world, as it is the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission.
Objectives Behind Mars Exploration:
- Scientists and researchers around the world are pretty much curious about Mars because of the possibility that the planet was once warm enough to allow water to flow through it, which means life could have existed there too.
- Despite being starkly different in many ways, the Red Planet has several Earth-like features– such as clouds, polar ice caps, volcanoes, and seasonal weather patterns.
- However, no human has set foot on Mars yet because the atmosphere on Mars is very thin, consisting of mostly carbon dioxide with no breathable oxygen, making it difficult for astronauts to survive there.
Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)
- The MOM also called Mangalyaan is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- It aims at studying the Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scans its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars).
- It is India’s first interplanetary mission and it made it the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after Roscosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
- It made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.
- It was initially meant to last six months, but subsequently, ISRO had said it had enough fuel for it to last “many years.”