UAE-Japan’s Mission Helps Better Understand Inhabitability on Mars

As the Emirates Mars Mission, Hope Probe, is going to commence science data gathering in April, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has said the UAE’s mission will contribute to the efforts towards “a better understanding of habitable environment on Mars.”

In a statement issued to Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Wednesday, JAXA explained that as the Hope Probe’s objective is to observe the Martian atmosphere, Japan’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission “aims to return samples from Phobos [one of the two moons of Mars] to reveal the delivery process of water and organic matters to terrestrial planets, which is thought to be essential for the birth of life.”

Various missions offer multiple perspectives on Mars

MMX will also conduct atmospheric observations of Mars, the statement added.

“By bringing together the outcomes accomplished by various spacecraft, we will be able to uncover the dynamics of the Martian atmosphere and its evolutionary process from multiple perspectives, which will lead to a better understanding of the sustainability of habitable environment on Mars,” JAXA affirmed.

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) announced on Tuesday the completion of its commissioning and testing phase and its readiness for transition to its science orbit.

Hope Probe’s ahead of schedule science data gathering

“We have completed 21 orbits of Mars since we arrived at the Red Planet,” said EMM Project Director Omran Sharaf on Tuesday in a statement.

“We will commence science data gathering earlier in April than we had originally planned and I think it’s fair to say there is huge excitement now in our science team and among Mars scientists around the world,” he added.

The Hope Probe, launched in July 2020 was successfully inserted into orbit around Mars on 9th February, marking the Arab world’s entry to the global space race and placing the UAE as the fifth in the world to reach the Red Planet.

Big step forward during golden jubilee

JAXA congratulated the UAE “on achieving the feat of reaching Mars in the memorable year of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the country.”

Internationally, Mars has been set as the next manned exploration target, a highly challenging target following lunar missions, the agency pointed out. “In order to achieve this, it is necessary to deepen our knowledge of Mars through cooperation activities for unmanned exploration, while conducting on-orbit and surface technology demonstrations in lunar programmes. The Hope Probe, therefore, is a big step forward, and JAXA is looking forward to its further successes.”

Since its establishment in 2014, the UAE Space Agency has successfully implemented major space projects, including UAE’s astronauts reaching the International Space Station (ISS) and Hope Probe, the agency noted.

“JAXA would like to express our deep respect for the fact that these achievements have been produced in only six years. This year, we are looking forward to seeing the UAE enhancing its international presence in the space development area, as a host of the International Astronautical Congress 2021 in Dubai.”

One country alone cannot handle everything on space

The Japanese agency emphasised that one country alone cannot handle everything on space.

“International cooperation will become increasingly important in space exploration. The exploration area being farther away from the Earth, it will require more transportation and communication costs, causing higher technical risks. It will be impractical for one country alone to handle everything,” JAXA explained.

“Therefore, we believe that international collaboration among multiple countries to share mission opportunities, information, and data will be a key to the success of future space exploration,” the agency asserted.