This was on February 9, 2021, when dozens of scientists and engineers from the UAE space agencies were present at the Muhammad bin Rashid Space Center. Every passing second was adding to the uneasiness of all these scientists sitting in the space center, as they were all waiting for the green signal from a little spy sent by the United Arab Emirates.
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At 7:42 p.m., they finally received the signal. After which the United Arab Emirates became the fifth country in the world and the first in the Muslim world to reach the orbit of Mars. This month, in February 2021, not only the United Arab Emirates but also China and the United States, one space mission has reached Mars.
Friends! We know that Earth and Mars come very close to each other every 26 months as they orbit the Sun. Scientists take advantage of this opportunity to launch missions to Mars to reach Mars in less fuel. This occasion is known in astronomical language as the launch window for Mars. Mars and Earth came very close in July and August last year. During which three missions to Mars were launched in July 2020. Of the three, the UAE’s mission was limited to sending meteorological satellites into the orbit of Mars, while Chinese and US missions had to land there regularly.
The UAE’s Mars mission has been dubbed “Al Amal” or “Hope”. According to the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the name for the mission was proposed to inspire millions of Arabs around the world to innovate and to show that they can do as much as they want, even on Mars. Can also reach Many countries played a key role in taking the UAE to Mars. For example, three US universities built the satellite on US soil with the help of UAE engineers. Indian scientists were present at all times to launch the satellite into Mars orbit and were sharing their experiments with them, as India successfully launched the Manglian satellite into Mars orbit in 2014. The mission was launched by Japan. In addition, the satellite was connected to the ground under the “Deep Space Network” developed by NASA.
After a journey of seven months, this bee-like satellite entered Mars orbit on the evening of February 9, 2021, after which it was slowed down by firing thrusters so that it would not come out of Mars orbit. Shortly afterward, it sent green signals, which killed scientists. The Hope satellite is still in orbit around Mars. Thanks to this satellite, we will be able to understand the weather conditions of different parts of Mars on a daily basis. Also, how will the air of Mars be lost in space even today? Which will explain why in the past a beautiful planet like Mars, full of oceans, has turned into a desert today. Data from the Hope satellite could play a key role in future human missions.
While all this was going on in the Muslim world, at the same time the Chinese space agency was no less busy. Because China’s Tainwen-I mission was also close to Mars. The UAE’s successful mission had put pressure on Chinese scientists, as China, like the UAE, was trying to reach Mars for the first time. On February 10, 2021, the Chinese mission “Tian Win One” successfully entered Mars orbit. After which China became the sixth country in the world to reach Mars orbit. This mission is also a bit complicated because it is divided into three parts. It has an orbiter that will orbit Mars. In addition, a lander and a spacecraft are a separate part of the mission, which will land on the surface of Mars in May 2021. If China successfully lands on Mars in a few months, it will be the third country to land on Mars after Russia and the United States. Because of the spacecraft in this mission Due to which, China will be the second country in the world to launch a spacecraft on Mars. Prior to that, the United States was the only country to have several spacecraft on the surface of Mars and had performed many successful missions.
The mission will walk on Mars and inspect Martian soil. During this time it will understand the Martian atmosphere with the help of 13 different instruments and search for biosignatures. That is, Mars will find life in the soil. We know that the gravity of Mars is much higher than that of the moon, so it is not possible to return from there. That is why the first human missions to Mars will be imprisoned there forever, never to return. Therefore, through this mission, China will try to understand the atmosphere and gravity of Mars so that in the future such missions can be planned which can return from Mars with samples of soil and rocks. Launched from Chinese soil on July 23, 2020, the mission will attempt to land on Mars in 2021 in an area called “Utopia Plancia”. Earlier, NASA’s “Viking Two” also landed in this area in 1976. At that time, the water was frozen in the form of ice, which is why this place is important for finding life. Before landing, China will also take several pictures with the help of a satellite so that it is possible to choose a suitable place for landing. China was assisted in the preparation of this mission by Argentina, Austria and France. To what extent this mission is successful, we will have to wait until May 2021.
While all this was going on, on the other hand, there was another space agency whose headquarters was in turmoil. Because this agency had also launched a mission to Mars which had entered the final and most complex stages. All the scientists were sitting together in NASA’s “Jet Perfusion Lab”. This mission was very accurate because during this mission not only NASA sent a spacecraft but also for the first time in history sent a drone that will fly to Mars and help the spacecraft find its way. The drone will fly five times a month. Each flight will take less than three minutes. Because the atmosphere on Mars is weak, the drone will only be able to fly up to a height of ten meters. But each flight is capable of covering a distance of up to 600 meters. This will be the first time in history that a human will fly a drone over an astronomical planet. If the experiment succeeds, NASA will in the future
NASA’s “Mars Presence Mission”, launched on July 30, 2020, landed in the island region of Mars Crater on Thursday, Friday, February 18, 2021, at 1:55 PM Pakistan time. Before landing, the space rocket entered Mars orbit by turning on the thrusters. After which it became closer to the surface of Mars. After entering the Martian atmosphere, the lander was protected with the help of a heat shield. A few minutes later, the paragraph was opened. After the speed was reduced, the hat shield was thrown and the spacecraft was safely landed on the ropes with the help of a sky crane. After a successful landing, the Sky Crane crashed several kilometers away. Following the departure of the Sky Crane, the “Persuasive Space Vehicle” turned on the equipment and sent the first image of Mars to NASA headquarters.
This photo was in black and white. Although the “Persuasive Space Vehicle” has since sent several color images, because the size of the black and white image is smaller than that of the color image, scientists had to wait several hours for the color image. That is why this black and white image was shared with the media along with the confirmation of the landing by NASA. Because the team that built the “Presence Rover” also built the “Crucity Rover”, which is why it was called a copy of “Crucity”. Although it has been significantly updated.
NASA chose the “Island Crater” for the landing because investigations show that it was the place where freshwater stood billions of years ago. That is, it was a freshwater lake, where water would enter from one side and exit from the other. Scientists believe that life on Earth began in “thermal vents”, which were formed in similar standing water. This is why we believe that even if there had been life on Mars, its traces should be in the “Island Crater”. That is why this spacecraft will, for the first time, dig the surface of Mars and collect soil samples beneath it in various tubes, looking for possible life on Mars.
Mars is mysterious to us because it was like us in the past. An example of this is when you enter a city with schools, hospitals and markets but no population is visible, you will feel a strange horror there. Will you try to understand what happened here that we are not getting life despite the signs of life? In the same way, Mars was like Earth in the past, there were all the means of life there, but to this day we have not found traces of life there, which is why it is a puzzle for scientists.
By analyzing the surface of Mars with the help of the instruments in the Perseverance spacecraft, we will be able to know about the past of Mars, how conducive the atmosphere there was to live in the past. What persecution has Mars endured on its surface over the last millions of years and how did it end up today? The spacecraft will dig the Martian surface at various locations and collect soil samples in a few tubes. Whenever technology is developed to return to Mars, a mission will be sent to bring the samples back to Earth and analyze in a laboratory to find out the presence of unicellular life on Mars. In addition, the rover will analyze the Martian soil and find out if it contains any elements that are harmful to the human body. The spacecraft will also experiment with small-scale extraction of oxygen from Martian carbon dioxide. Both investigations will be crucial for future human missions.
Because dust storms occur on Mars for many months. During this time, the sun’s rays are disconnected from the surface of Mars. As a result, spacecraft with solar panels cannot charge their batteries, so they expire. This is what we have seen in 2018 with the “Opportunity Rover” on Mars. The solution to this problem is to have a radioactive battery in this spacecraft, which will last for 14 years. During this time, whether it’s a storm or a nightmare, the rover will be able to do its job.
NASA also issued virtual tickets for public awareness of the mission. For which 19 million people registered. The names of the registrants have been put in a chip and sent to Mars with this spacecraft. Virtual tickets were also issued to all of them. In January 2021, NASA released an animation about its landing, named 7 Minutes of Terror. Because the last seven minutes of this mission landing were extremely difficult and nerve-wracking.
All three manned missions have now arrived on Mars and are sending data. Remember that these three missions are playing an important role in establishing human colonies on Mars in the future. So whenever you stand on your lawn and see the red Mars shining in the sky, or when you see a man stepping on Mars ten years from now, don’t forget to tell your family the story of these three little spies