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Quickfacts: The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM)

Mission Information

The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Spacecraft prior to shipment to Dubai and the Tanegashima Launch site, with fully deployed solar panels and instruments visible (facing the floor) measuring nearly 5 meters across. Credit: MBRSC/Ken Hutchison

The orbiter, named ‘Hope’ (Al Amal in Arabic), will spend two years (one Martian year) orbiting the red planet gathering crucial science data. An extended two-year mission is also envisioned.

Find the latest details and status of the mission at the official EMM site https://www.emiratesmarsmission.ae/. Below, find EMM in the News links.

The spacecraft, which is about the size of a small car, was constructed at LASP by a joint MBRSC/LASP team led by Project Director Omran Sharaf from MBRSC, Program Manager Pete Withnell from LASP, and Deputy Program Manager and Science Lead, Sarah Al Amiri. The overall team working on the Mission comprises some 200 staff from MBRSC, 150 from LASP and 100 from other partners, as well as an international science team.

The Emirates’ goal for the mission is to provide knowledge transfer to the next generation of Emirati scientist and engineers through a hands-on learning environment and knowledge-transfer program. The mission’s scientific goal is to provide an unprecedented global view of the Martian atmosphere in order to reveal the interconnections between different regions, times of day, and altitudes.  

The mission is being carried out by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the UAE in collaboration with a number of US research institutions, including the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, Arizona State University and the Space Sciences Lab (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).

The scientific goals of the mission are to provide a complete picture of the lower and upper Martian atmosphere. Unique to Hope is its orbit, which enables near-complete daily and geographic coverage, providing a weather-satellite style view of the Martian atmosphere. The mission will give scientists greater insight into the connections within and between the upper and lower atmospheres and how those connections help to drive atmospheric escape.

To achieve these goals, Hope carries three scientific instruments, the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrograph (EMUS), Emirates eXploration Imager(EXI), and Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer(EMIRS). The EXI camera’s high-resolution images will measure properties of Mars’s water, ice, dust, aerosols and ozone in its atmosphere. The EMUS spectrometer will measure global characteristics and variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the Mars thermosphere. Both EXI and EMUS were developed at LASP in Boulder, Colorado. EMIRS (developed at ASU) will measure the distribution of dust particles and ice clouds while tracking the movement of water vapor and heat through the atmosphere.  


Credit: MBRSC

Science Objective:

  • Hope’s mission is focused on atmospheric dynamics. It will explore the atmosphere of Mars while sampling both diurnal (daily) and seasonal timescales. This has never been done by any previous Mars mission.
  • Understanding atmospheres of other planets allows us to better understand our planet and better understand other planets in the universe.

Science Questions:

  • How does the Martian lower atmosphere respond globally, diurnally and seasonally to solar forcing?
  • How do conditions throughout the Martian atmosphere affect rates of atmospheric escape?
  • How does the Martian exosphere behave temporally and spatially?
Credit: MBRSC

Science Instruments:

Mars Hope carries three instruments:
EXI – The Emirates eXploration Imager is a digital camera that will capture high-resolution imagesof Mars along with measuring water ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere through the UV bands.

EMIRS – The Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer will measure the global distribution of dust, ice cloud, and water vapor in the Martian lower atmosphere.

EMUS – The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer will measure oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermosphere and the variability of hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere.

Credit: MBRSC

“EMM in the News” Links

Hope prepares to enter orbit around Mars https://spacenews.com/hope-prepares-to-enter-orbit-around-mars/ 02/05/2021
The United Arab Emirates’ Hope mission to Mars in photos https://www.space.com/hope-mars-mission-united-arab-emirates-photos.html 02/05/2021
Emirates Mars Mission partnership with LASP https://lasp.colorado.edu/home/2021/02/04/emirates-mars-mission-to-arrive-at-mars-on-feb-9th-in-partnership-with-lasp-at-cu-boulder/ 02/04/2021
The UAE’s Hope Probe will be the first of 3 missions to arrive at Mars this month https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/29/world/uae-hope-probe-mars-arrival-scn/index.html 02/01/2021
CU-Boulder scientists help with Mars probe and mission https://www.9news.com/article/tech/science/aerospace/cu-scientists-discuses-involvement-in-mars-mission/73-732376aa-2a9a-4ae3-bcbe-e5215fd00cbe 01/28/2021
EMM Launch – CU Today https://www.colorado.edu/today/2020/07/15/emirates-mars-mission-begin-journey-red-planet/ 07/15/2020
EMM launches in partnership with LASP https://lasp.colorado.edu/home/2020/07/14/emirates-mars-mission-launching-this-week-in-partnership-with-lasp-at-cu-boulder/ 07/14/2020
With CU Boulder’s Help, United Arab Emirates Launches Mission To Mars https://www.cpr.org/show-segment/with-cu-boulders-help-united-arab-emirates-launches-mission-to-mars/ 07/13/2020
The UAE’s Hope Probe Will Make History As It Heads to Mars https://youtu.be/n65UpNa21V0 07/13/2020
UAE’s first Mars probe meets launcher in Japan https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/07/12/uaes-first-mars-probe-meets-launcher-in-japan/ 07/12/2020
How a small Arab nation built a Mars mission from scratch in six years https://www.nature.com/immersive/d41586-020-01862-z/index.html 07/08/2020
In 30 Days A Country Of 9.6 Million People Will Send A Mission To Mars. This Is What ‘Hope’ Can Do https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiecartereurope/2020/06/16/in-30-days-a-country-of-96-million-people-will-send-a-mission-to-mars-this-is-what-hope-can-do/ 06/16/2020
Emirates Mars Mission confirms launch date for Hope probe https://gulfbusiness.com/emirates-mars-mission-confirms-launch-date-for-hope-probe/ 05/20/2020
The UAE is going to Mars. Here’s the plan for its Hope orbiter. https://www.space.com/united-arab-emirates-hope-mars-mission.html 05/05/2020
Emirates Mars Mission arrives in Japan for launch preparations https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/05/05/emirates-mars-mission-arrives-in-japan-for-launch-preparations/ 05/05/2020
UAE-built Mars orbiter arrives at launch site ahead of July liftoff https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/04/uae-mars-orbiter-arrives-launch-site/ 04/26/2020
UAE Mars mission to ship to launch site https://spacenews.com/uae-mars-mission-to-ship-to-launch-site/ 04/20/2020
UAE’s Mars Mission to launch on Time despite Coronavirus https://khaleejjournal.com/uaes-mars-mission-to-launch-on-time-despite-coronavirus/ 03/18/2020
Hope Mars Mission could change everything we know about the red planet https://www.cnet.com/features/the-hope-mars-mission-could-change-everything-we-know-about-mars/ 03/04/2020
Dubai’s Ruler witnesses completion of UAE’s Hope Probe, set to launch to Mars this year https://gulfbusiness.com/dubais-ruler-witnesses-completion-uaes-hope-probe-set-launch-mars-year/ 02/19/2020
"Official Video" https://youtu.be/qqnqTmbGu8g 02/18/2020
Mohammed bin Rashid attends installation of final component of Hope Probe https://wam.ae/en/details/1395302824947 02/18/2020
Dubai Ruler and Crown Prince witness completion of UAE’s Mars probe https://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/dubai-ruler-and-crown-prince-witness-completion-of-uae-s-mars-probe-1.980922#8 02/18/2020
From Dubai to Mars, With Stops in Colorado and Japan https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/15/science/mars-united-arab-emirates.html 02/14/2020
UAE Mars probe to be launched this summer https://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/general/uae-mars-probe-to-be-launched-this-summer 01/05/2020
Hope Mars Mission: Launching the Arab World into the Space Race https://www.space.com/hope-emirates-mars-mission.html 10/21/2019
UAE Mars probe will be Arab world first https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02338-5 07/31/2019
UAE’s Hope Probe to launch to Mars in second half of 2020 https://gulfnews.com/uae/science/uaes-hope-probe-to-launch-to-mars-in-second-half-of-2020-1.1563944743997 07/24/2019
The Arab World’s Moonshot https://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/uae-emirates-mars-mission-al-amal-hope-probe-future-space-exploration-moon-shot-180971670/ 07/02/2019