The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) has announced a data analysis collaboration initiative with NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) Mars mission, paving the way for scientific collaboration and data exchange between the two missions. The partnership between space missions of the United Arab Emirates and the United States will enable the sharing and collaborative analysis of data and observations made by EMM’s Hope Probe and NASA’s MAVEN project.
MAVEN’s orbit insertion happened in 2014 to investigate the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, hoping to glean insights into how the red planet’s climate has changed over time. EMM’s Mars Mission’s Hope Probe entered Mars orbit on February 9, 2021. Its mission is to study the relationship between the upper layer and lower regions of the Martian atmosphere.
“MAVEN and EMM are each exploring different aspects of the Martian atmosphere and upper-atmosphere system. 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”, said Shannon Curry, research scientist in planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and principal investigator at MAVEN, in a press statement.
EMM’s Hope probe carries three instruments:
- EXI: the Emirates eXploration Imager, which is a digital camera that captures images of Mars with a resolution of 2 to 4 km along with measuring the amount of water, ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere through the UV bands.
- EMIRS: The Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer, which measures the emitted energy from the martian surface and atmosphere to derive the global distribution of dust, ice clouds and water vapour in the Martian lower atmosphere.
- EMUS: The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer, which measures oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermosphere and the variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the exosphere
“EMM science complements MAVEN and the Hope probe was designed to answer scientific objectives aligned directly with MEPAG goals. Its observations were always designed to provide new insights that weren’t possible from past Mars missions,” added Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission, in a press statement.
According to Sharaf, combining the two datasets from EMM and MAVEN missions and analysing the results together can help provide answers to many fundamental questions about Mars and the evolution and dynamics of its atmosphere.