From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Hope Mission
Mains level : Quest for Mars and its possibility to host life
The launch of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first mission to Mars has been delayed by two days due to bad weather conditions which were scheduled to take off from its launch site, Tanegashima Space Center, in Japan.
Try this question from CSP 2014:
Q.Which of the following pair is/are correctly matched?
Spacecraft Purpose 1. Cassini-Huygens Orbiting the Venus and transmitting data to the Earth 2. Messenger Mapping and investigating the Mercury 3. Voyager 1 and 2 Exploring the outer solar system
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) 1 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
- The Emirates Mars Mission called “Hope” was announced in 2015 with the aim of creating mankind’s first integrated model of the Red planet’s atmosphere.
- Hope weighs over 1500 kg and will carry scientific instruments mounted on one side of the spacecraft, including the Emirates exploration Imager (EXI), which is a high-resolution camera among others.
- The spacecraft will orbit Mars to study the Martian atmosphere and its interaction with outer space and solar winds.
- Hope will collect data on Martian climate dynamics, which should help scientists understand why Mars’ atmosphere is decaying into space.
Objectives of the mission
- Once it launches, Hope will orbit Mars for around 200 days, after which it will enter the Red planet’s orbit by 2021, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of UAE.
- The mission is being executed by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE’s space agency.
- It will help answer key questions about the global Martian atmosphere and the loss of hydrogen and oxygen gases into space over the span of one Martian year.
Back2Basics: Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)
- The MOM also called Mangalyaan is a space probe orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014. It was launched on 5 November 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- It aims at studying the Martian surface and mineral composition as well as scans its atmosphere for methane (an indicator of life on Mars).
- It is India’s first interplanetary mission and it made it the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after Roscosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
- It made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.
- It was initially meant to last six months, but subsequently, ISRO had said it had enough fuel for it to last “many years.”