China and the United Arab Emirates celebrate a year on Mars

The other country was an unexpected newcomer: the United Arab Emirates. Without much spaceflight experience, he collaborated with engin...


The other country was an unexpected newcomer: the United Arab Emirates. Without much spaceflight experience, he collaborated with engineers from the University of Colorado’s Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics to build Hope, a spacecraft the size of a small car.

Hope is smaller in size and ambition than Perseverance or Tianwen-1, but its construction provided on-the-job training for budding Emirati engineers and scientists who worked side-by-side with their American counterparts in Boulder, Colorado.

Hope has entered orbit around Mars and continues to orbit the planet, taking measurements of the atmosphere. He made some unexpected discoveries, including the amount of oxygen in the upper atmosphere.

“When we compared it to the models, it was about 50% higher than expected,” said Hessa al-Matroushi, the mission’s chief scientist. “So it was surprising.”

Hope’s instruments found structures in the upper atmosphere with higher concentrations of oxygen. Scientists are trying to figure out the meaning of surprise.

Another spacecraft, the ExoMars 2022 mission, a collaboration between the European Space Agency and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is set to launch to Mars this year. Its launch was originally planned for 2020, but technical problems and the pandemic the mission was postponed. The next launch opportunity opens at the end of September.

ExoMars carries a rover named Rosalind Franklin, which must search for clues of past life in Oxia Planum, a 120-mile-wide plain near the equator that has clay-rich minerals.

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Newsrust - US Top News: China and the United Arab Emirates celebrate a year on Mars
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