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3 Nations Arrive On Mars!

3 Nations Arrive On Mars!

The Mars race to the red planet has long appeared to be exclusive to the biggest billionaires and their corporate backups, but someone else has crossed the white ribbon first. We’ll talk about these folks and more in today’s episode!
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If you’re like me who loves all the news going around about the red planet, you probably would have already heard about the biggest players in the game of getting to Mars first. Of course, first and foremost, there’s the ever popular SpaceX program by Elon Musk. Then we also have Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos.You can really tell that there’s really huge interest in bagging the medal of being the first corporate entity to bring Earth to Mars. I mean, for something to get two of the world’s biggest billionaires? I don’t think they are men who like to waste time on anything they wouldn’t believe have any value whatsoever. Be honest, guys. Who among these two did you place your bets on?
Well, if you did place any money on either of them, then I have bad news for you.

After beginning their 480 million kilometer journey — or, for you Americans watching the show, about 300 million miles — mid July last year, Mars gets visited by not just one, but two unmanned space probes just this February 10th. The first one, arriving at the 9th was United Arab Emirates’ Hope, followed by China’s Tianwen-1 just about a day after.

This amazing feat placed both countries as the fifth and sixth cultures from Earth to successfully be welcomed by our vermillion neighbor. The first four to make it there were, firstly of course, the USA, followed by, India, the old Soviet Union and Europe through the European Space Agency.

Actually, if we include NASA’s Perseverance arriving by the 18th, that puts Elon and Jeff way, way behind. Keep up, boys!

As of the current moment, Hope and Tianwen-1 are already orbiting the Martian atmosphere. A Herculean challenge that they completed with flying colors.

The amazing feat that these two spacecraft accomplished is already super impressive, considering that about half of missions sent to Mars were unsuccessful. You see how many crash-and-burns SpaceX missions had in its lifetime, right?

But, okay, I know that Mars appears to be an extremely popular destination for some of the most important entities and individuals in the world, but these missions did not go there just to have a vacation. Let’s talk about what these probes were sent there to do, shall we? Let’s begin with the first to get there, UAE’s flagship interplanetary mission, Hope…or Al-Amal, as locally known in Arabic.

UAE is not entirely a newbie in terms of sending instruments in space. Officially speaking, Hope is the fourth one in their resume. You can imagine the level of sophistication in the technology that they are bringing, with the history of space missions they have already launched.
Now, let’s move on to the next visitor to our sister planet and potential future home: China’s Tianwen-1. I’d like to talk about the name for a bit before going any further, because I just can’t get over the fact that it is an extremely poetic name.

One translation of the probe’s name is “a quest for the heavenly truth”.
Last but not the least, let’s now talk about the last visitor to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance. Or Percy for short. Pretty cute name, isn’t it?

Following a long line of predecessors, one including the popular names such as Opportunity and Curiosity, this probe is tasked with a mission to know more about the Red Planet. Upon arriving within the vicinity of Mars, it’s scheduled to land on the Jezero Crater.

And did I tell you that Percy didn’t come all by himself? The rover is also carrying Ingenuity, a robotic helicopter that will serve as a part of a handful of tech demonstrations that will be carried out by the rover. The mini helicopter is aimed to determine the feasibility of flight on the red planet. Moreover, Ingenuity will fly over the landing site of Perseverance to help plan its route better, and to look for targets that could be interesting to pick up.

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#InsaneCuriosity #MarsRace #MarsMission

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Hope: The First "Emirates Mars Mission"!

Hope: The First Emirates Mars Mission!

Every nation right now is racing to make contact with Mars, if not in person, then at least with a robotic spacecraft in preparations for humans to one day land on the red planet.

And I hope you’re all as excited as we are for a new nation joining the quest towards exploring Mars, we’re talking about the United Arab Emirates.

Yes, the United Arab Emirates is going to be the first Arab and gulf region country to send a scientific mission to the red planet on July 20th. How exciting!
China’s Tianwen -1 Mars Mission!
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The motivation for the mission started back in the year 2014, and along six years, the United Arab Emirates Space Agency and its collaborators around the world went into planning the mission and designing its probe, and now, the UAE nation’s dream is finally going to become a reality.

The official name of the mission is “Emirates Mars Mission” and the probe was given the name “Hope Probe” to represent the hope of the Emirati youth and nation to conquer space exploration starting with a mission towards Mars.

Fun fact, the word “Hope” in Arabic is “Amal”, to pronounce it correctly, think of George Clooney’s wife; “Amal Clooney”, it’s literally the same name!

The 200 million dollar mission will be worth every cent, not only for the massive scientific advancements, but also for being the first in the Arab region and the Middle East to push its limits and visit the red planet.

The “Emirates Mars Mission” will not be landing on Mars, it is designed as a probe to orbit the planet and gather information remotely. The probe is very light weight with only 1.35 Kilograms (2.97 pounds) including fuel, and dimensions up to 3 meter x 7.9 meters (9.8 feet x 25.9 feet) and that’s while the solar panels are open.

The probe is equipped with 600 watts solar panels to collect enough power for the equipment on board and a 1.85 meter (72 inch) antenna to communicate back and forth with Earth.

But what exactly will the probe be doing up there orbiting Mars?

The mission goals are aligned with the international goals of “The Mars Exploration Program Advisory Group”; an international group that decides the most important scientific questions to be answered regarding Mars.

The group proposes 4 major scientific goals, the “Emirates Mars Mission” is specially concerned with the second of these goals which is to understand the processes and history of climate on Mars, and more specifically, to study the lower and upper atmosphere of the planet.

These goals are further broken down into 3 scientific objectives:
1. Analysing the lower Martian atmosphere to understand the climate dynamics.
2. Analysing the upper Martian atmosphere to understand the weather changes and the escape of Hydrogen and Oxygen.
3. Identifying why Mars is losing Hydrogen and Oxygen into space.

In satisfying these objectives, the “Hope Probe” will be Mars’ first ever weather satellite; continuously monitoring Mars’ weather during all the seasons from an orbital inclination of 25 degrees and a minimum orbital distance of 20000 kilometers (12.4 thousands miles) to a maximum of 43000 kilometeres (26.7 thousands miles.)

The “Emirates Mars Mission” objectives will be realised by 3 instruments aboard the “Hope Probe”:

The first is the “Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer” or (EMIR) for short, this instrument will study the atmosphere of the red planet in the infrared spectrum of light, and it has a spatial resolution of 100 to 300 kilometers.

The spectrometer will scan Mars’ lower atmosphere to understand the distribution of water vapor and ice water as well as dust, and It will also observe the thermal conditions of Mars’ atmosphere.

The second is the “Emirates Exploration Imager” or (EXI) for short which is a camera that takes 12 megapixel high resolution coloured images of Mars and observes the Martian atmosphere in both the visible and the ultraviolet spectrums of light.

The visible light system has a surface resolution of 4.6 km per pixel when the probe is at the farthest point to the planet and a resolution of 2.2 km per pixel at the nearest point.

The ultraviolet light system on the other hand, has a surface resolution of 4.9 km per pixel at the farthest point, and a resolution of 2.3 km per pixel at the nearest point.
The control and operation of the “Hope Probe” will be a collaborative effort between facilities across the world not only in the United Arab Emirates, let’s start with the launch itself that will entirely be under the control of the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA.)

#InsaneCuriosity #HopeEmiratesMarsMission #HopeMarsMission #MarsFactsAndHistory

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