Home Global We’re great admirers of ISRO, says Omran Sharaf, project director of Emirates Mars Mission

We’re great admirers of ISRO, says Omran Sharaf, project director of Emirates Mars Mission

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We’re great admirers of ISRO, says Omran Sharaf, project director of Emirates Mars Mission

) says that we are great admirers and ISRO.

Omran Sharaf, the project director for Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), has expressed gratitude to Indian Space Research Organisations (ISRO) as well as his hope for future collaborations.

The Emirates Mars Mission was the first United Arab Emirates mission to Mars. It is also the First Arab Interplanetary Mission. Sharaf responded to Sidhant Sibal’s questions about the Emirates Mars Mission. “We are great admirers and collaborators with ISRO. As you know, we collaborated on the launch the Nayif-1 satellite of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to collaborate on the Emirates Mars Mission together, we are always open to international collaborations.

EMM was designed to orbit Mars in order to study dynamics within the Martian atmosphere at a global level, on both seasonal and diurnal timescales. EMM, which will be using three instruments aboard the spacecraft to collect data fundamental for a better understanding of weather and circulation in the Martian upper and middle atmospheres.

Recently, EMM completed a collaboration in science data analysis with NASA’s MAVEN Mars Mission. Sharaf replied that EMM has been focusing on Mars’ upper atmosphere while MAVEN was concentrating on Mars’s lower atmosphere. We can now link the two. “

WION: Can you tell us how important is the Emirates Mars Mission to the UAE?
Omran Shaf : The Emirates embarks on their second 50 year since it was founded in 1971.. As part of an integrated long-term effort to provide economic opportunities around space science, exploration, research and leadership, the Emirates Mars Mission forms part of that longer-term plan. As a symbol for hope and optimism, the mission’s probe was called Mars Hope. EMM drives innovation in UAE by building education capabilities, new opportunities for young people, and encouraging excellence in engineering, science research and innovation. The future vision of EMM is not just for the Emirates, but also the Arab World. Our country as well as the entire region have young population. The mission’s goal is to encourage and provide opportunities for future generations to pursue science and technology. The region was once a leader in human and scientific understanding and science. We hope to be able to do this again. As we plan for the future, it is crucial that we transition to knowledge-based economies. The Emirates will be an international hub for technological innovation and attract talented people from all over the globe to collaborate.

Also read | ISRO Chairman Dr. S. Somanath recalls his early days at ISRO, what it takes to be a space scientist

WION: How will your collaboration with NASA help, specifically regarding space research?
Omran Shaf EMM and MAVEN have agreed to collaborate and share data. Both missions are able to access previous observations from MAVEN, which can be used to help EMM achieve its goals. The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group has three questions: what we know, what we don’t know, and what we’d like to learn. EMM can answer the questions raised by MAVEN, and MAVEN data may help to contextualize our observations with EMM. EMM has primarily focused on Mars’ upper atmosphere while MAVEN has focused on Mars’ lower atmosphere. We can now link the two.

Also read | Indian start-up’s satellite gets tested at ISRO facility, awaits launch through PSLV rocket

WION: Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe entered the orbit of Mars on the 9th of February, 2021. How has it discovered so far? Is there any additional information about Mars that it has uncovered?
Omran Shaf Our early observations of Mars’ distinct auroras gave us unprecedented scope and detail. These early observations inspired us to focus more attention on the auroras. We used spare bandwidth and resources because Hope’s Mars journey was so smooth and straight forward. This is a testament to how effective the platform that we created. We were also able gather additional observations on unusually high levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen, which have prompted a new area of research. Because of Hope’s orbit, almost 100% global coverage and our observations of dust storms have opened up new areas for investigation and granularity which challenge both models and our preconceptions. The observations that we made from our early discoveries have led to a new type of discrete aurora, which we now investigate.
EMM is exceeding our expectations so far in terms of the discoveries and observations we’ve made. EMM promises much more in the future, which is very exciting.

WION: How is the collaboration with India going? Was India involved in the mars mission?
Omran Sharaf We are great admirers and collaborators with ISRO. As you will know, we collaborated on the launch the Nayif-1 satellite of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to collaborate on the Emirates Mars Mission together, we are always open to international collaborations.
Indian researchers and scientists have full access to EMM science data via our Science Data Centre. This sharing of all our data sets worldwide from Hope’s instruments is free for everyone. This data set is open to all researchers and would make it very exciting for Indian scientists to continue their research.

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