General, Research, Technology

5 interesting facts about the Arab station Al Amal for exploring Mars

February 2021 will definitely go down in historyUnited Arab Emirates. Yesterday scientists successfully delivered the Al Amal interplanetary station to Mars, which is the first of its kind in the Arab world. In the evening, February 9 at 19:13 Moscow time, it became known about the successful completion of all the necessary maneuvers to enter the atmosphere of the Red Planet. The station without any problems dropped the speed from 121 thousand to 18 thousand kilometers per hour and at the moment is calmly flying around it. After a while, she will start testing the embedded hardware, after which she will begin to perform basic tasks. At a minimum, she needs to study the composition of the Martian atmosphere, as well as learn more about seasonal climate changes. Enough time has been allocated for this - the station is expected to operate in Mars orbit for two years. That's not all there is to know about Al Amal Station. Let's look at some more interesting facts.

Arab interplanetary station "Al Amal"

Content

  • 1 Development of Al Amal Station
  • 2 What will Al Amal study?
  • 3 How did the Al Amal station enter Mars orbit?
  • 4 What are the Tianwen 1 and Perseverance devices for?
  • 5 Al Amal in the history of the United Arab Emirates

Al Amal Station Development

Al Amal Interplanetary Station (read as"Al-Amal") was developed as part of the Emirates Mars Mission program. The launch was carried out from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center on July 20, 2020 using an H-IIA launch vehicle. This is the first Arab-made spacecraft, but researchers from the US states of California, Colorado and Arizona also participated in the development. In the end, the researchers managed to create a station with a mass of 1,350 tons, which is powered by two solar panels.

Al Amal station in the laboratory

What will Al Amal study?

The main purpose of the Al Amal satellite iscreating the most complete picture of the properties of the Martian atmosphere. At the moment, scientists already know that the atmosphere of Mars differs from Earth's both in chemical composition and in physical parameters. The new spacecraft will track how Martian weather changes throughout the day and year. She also learns what natural phenomena occur in the lower atmosphere. For example, scientists are interested in learning about dust storms. All this information is very important, because the flight of people to Mars is just around the corner. People need to know what they might face.

The Martian atmosphere looks something like this

Al Amal will not land on the planet's surface. The study of the properties of Mars will be carried out from orbit, using three instruments:

  • Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) cameras, which is capable of creating images with a spatial resolution of 8 kilometers;
  • Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) to study ice, water vapor, dust and other constituents of the atmosphere;
  • Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) to study the amount of oxygen and hydrogen in the lower atmosphere.

Data collection will be carried out over two years. Scientists expect to receive the first data in early September 2021.

How did the Al Amal station enter Mars orbit?

Earth and Mars regularly move away and closerto each other. Arab scientists launched the Al Amal station at the time of the approach of the two planets. Thanks to this, the station had to overcome only 55 million kilometers and it took less time and fuel to overcome the path. On the evening of February 9, 2021, the station reached Mars and began braking with its engines. It took about 27 minutes to drop the speed from 121 thousand kilometers to 18 thousand kilometers per hour. During this maneuver, half of the fuel was consumed. It was the most intense moment of the mission and it was successful.

The entire flight of Al Amal in one image

What are Tianwen-1 and Perseverance devices for?

Summer 2020 was the perfect time tosending spacecraft to Mars and this moment was used by China and the United States. In addition to the Arab satellite, at the end of July, the American Perseverance spacecraft and the Chinese interplanetary station Tianwen-1 were launched to Mars. Unlike Al Amal, these missions will descend to the surface of the planet. The Perseverance rover will descend (or crash) on February 18, 2021 at 21:00 Moscow time. And the Chinese station "Tianwen-1" will enter orbit today, February 10th. Read more about these missions in this article.

The other day, the Chinese apparatus "Tianwen-1" took a photograph of Mars and sent it to Earth. You can see it here.

Al Amal in the history of the United Arab Emirates

Successful dispatch of the Al Amal station to Mars isa very important event for the United Arab Emirates. The mission was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the unification of the country's seven emirates. When the craft successfully entered the atmosphere of Mars, the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa, lit up in red and blue colors and people were able to see the festive light show. Also, images of the Martian satellites Phobos and Deimos were projected onto the sky of Dubai so that people "see what the satellite sees."

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Perhaps thanks to these missions, inIn the future, humans will finally settle on Mars and feel good about themselves. But there is no time to rest, because houses will need to be built on Mars. You can read about how they will look in this article.