Health Science UAE News

Burjeel Medical City Joins WIN Consortium

The global network will facilitate collaboration between members to accelerate the discovery and development of innovative cancer therapies…reports Asian Lite News

Burjeel Holdings has announced that its flagship Burjeel Medical City was selected for membership in the Worldwide Innovative Networking in Personalized Cancer Medicine (WIN) Consortium.

This achievement marks another significant milestone for the healthcare provider as it continues to expand its network and expertise in the field of oncology and further strengthen its position as a pioneer in personalized cancer medicine in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region. Burjeel Medical City has now become the first member from the UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council countries to join the prestigious network and will work as an accelerator to foster further regional collaborations in WIN programs and projects. 

The WIN Consortium is a globally renowned network of over 30 elite organisations from the Americas, EU, and Asia specializing in cancer care and research. These represent various stakeholders involved in the patient journey and personalized cancer care. The primary objective of the consortium is to improve cancer patients’ survival and quality of life by relying on genetically informed healthcare and accelerating the discovery and development of highly specialized cancer therapies.

The membership in the WIN Consortium is a significant milestone for Burjeel Medical City, which aims to become the regional hub for cancer care, consistently accelerating research and innovation initiatives. By joining this exclusive network of experts, the hospital has reinforced its commitment to developing targeted cancer therapeutics, aligning strategically with WIN’s mission.

“We are honored to join the WIN Consortium, which is at the forefront of research in personalized cancer medicine. Through this membership, we are furthering our commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients in the UAE and wider region by collaborating with an elite global team to advance the understanding and treatment of cancer in an era of personalized care. The WIN Consortium provides a unique platform for us to share knowledge, expertise, and data to accelerate the development of innovative solutions and new treatments,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Founder and Chairman of Burjeel Holdings.

Being the newest member of the consortium, Burjeel Medical City is uniquely positioned to contribute to the future achievements of this collective group. As a quaternary care center based in Abu Dhabi, the hospital’s diverse pool of patients has the potential to be a valuable addition to studies in precision medicine. Another recent example of its efforts to boost personalized medicine is the Group’s investments to offer molecular genetics, cellular, and immunological profile testing in the UAE.

Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., FACP, FSCT, FASCO, Principal Investigator, ASCO TAPUR Study, Professor emeritus, University of Chicago and Chairman of the WIN Consortium, expressed his delight in welcoming Burjeel Medical City to the consortium. “Burjeel Medical City’s expertise and resources in oncology and the Group’s scale of operations in the Middle East will be invaluable in our collaborative research efforts to advance personalized cancer medicine at the global level,” he said.

The hospital’s membership in the WIN Consortium, where it will be represented by Prof. Humaid Al Shamsi, Director of Oncology Services, Burjeel Holdings, and Dr. Khaled Musallam, Group Chief Research Officer, Burjeel Holdings, is a testament to its dedication to providing excellent care and advancing the field of oncology.

Founded in 2007, Burjeel Holdings is one of the leading private healthcare services providers in the MENA region. With a network of 62 assets, including 16 hospitals and 24 medical centers, as well as pharmacies and other allied services, the group provides the highest standard of patient care in the region. Burjeel Medical City, the flagship facility of Burjeel Holdings, is a 400-bed multi-specialty hospital and quaternary care center located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It offers high-quality specialized treatment and complex care in over 40 adult and pediatric specialties, aided by state-of-the-art medical technology and an international team of experts.

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UAE’s mission to explore asteroid belt

The UAE spacecraft ‘MBR Explorer’ will undertake a 5 billion kilometre journey passing through Mars to explore seven asteroids in the main asteroid belt and ultimately landing on the last asteroid in 2034….reports Asian Lite News

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt (EMA) is a massive scientific project that will result in the establishment of Emirati companies specialised in space science and technology.

“The UAE has launched a new 13-year space project that features six years of spacecraft development and seven years of exploration. The UAE spacecraft ‘MBR Explorer’ will undertake a 5 billion kilometre journey passing through Mars to explore seven asteroids in the main asteroid belt and ultimately landing on the last asteroid in 2034.”

His Highness added, “The Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt is a massive scientific project that will result in the establishment of private Emirati companies specialised in space science and technology, the development of a deep space mission control centre, and the training of Emirati talent.”

He further said, “The Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt will cover 10 times the distance covered by the ‘Hope Probe’. Emirati youth believe in the motto that ‘The Impossible is Possible’. The secret behind our 5-billion-kilometre space mission is our belief in the capabilities of our youth, and our efforts to support them in achieving their ambitions.”

At an event held in Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, the UAE Space Agency has announced the details and objectives of the EMA, the first multiple-asteroid tour and landing mission to the main belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter.

The Agency released details of the design of the spacecraft named the “MBR Explorer”, in addition to mission operations and scientific objectives. It also announced a three-week launch period for the mission starting in March 2028.

The mission aims to add to our understanding of the foundation of the solar system and the presence and origins of the building blocks of life found in the asteroid belt, as well as prepare the ground for possible future resource extraction from asteroids.

The EMA comprises a thirteen-year mission: a six-year spacecraft development phase followed by a seven-year flight to the main asteroid belt beyond Mars, and a series of close flybys to conduct unique observations of seven main belt asteroids.

The mission will build on the learnings, capabilities, innovation and heritage of the Emirates Mars Mission and further accelerate the development of the country’s private space sector and national capabilities in advanced technology innovation.

The MBR Explorer’s 5-billion-kilometre journey includes gravity-assist manoeuvres around Venus, Earth and Mars to change the spacecraft’s velocity and support its flyby campaign, with its first asteroid encounter taking place in February 2030. Subsequent flybys will occur through to 2034, when the mission’s seventh asteroid encounter will involve a rendezvous and landing. The spacecraft will release a lander, which will beam science data up from the asteroid surface.

The EMA will drive significant economic opportunities, including new start-ups, international partnerships and inward investment to the UAE space sector, creating new commercial opportunities to accelerate the growth of innovation and advanced technology companies in the UAE. The ground segment and operations of the mission will also be delivered by an Emirati private sector operator through the establishment of a control centre for deep space missions.

The EMA will build greater understanding of the characteristics, origins, formation and evolution of asteroids. It will open new windows into our understanding of the formation of our solar system, as well as investigate the potential of water-rich asteroids as a usable resource and evaluate the presence of volatile and organic compounds in the asteroid belt – the building blocks of life on Earth.

The MBR Explorer’s four science instruments include a high-resolution camera, a thermal infrared camera, a mid-wavelength spectrometer and an infrared spectrometre. Together, these instruments will support observations that will measure the surface composition, geology and interior density and structure of asteroids across five of the main belt ‘families’, helping to better understand the origins and evolution of water-rich asteroids and also to assess the resource potential of asteroids and prepare the way for future asteroid resource utilisation.

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North Korea announces ‘satellite’ launch

Pyongyang has informed Japan’s coastguard that a rocket will be launched between May 31 and June 11 and will fall in waters near the Yellow Sea…reports Asian Lite News

Japan said Monday it is preparing for North Korea to launch in the coming weeks what Pyongyang has described as a satellite, but Tokyo believes may be a ballistic missile.

Pyongyang has informed Japan’s coastguard that a rocket will be launched between May 31 and June 11 and will fall in waters near the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and east of Luzon Island in the Philippines, a coastguard spokesman told AFP.

However, the prime minister’s office in a tweet said Fumio Kishida issued instructions “on North Korea’s notification about the launch of a ballistic missile that it describes as a satellite”.

He has told officials to gather intelligence, remain vigilant and closely coordinate with allies including the United States and South Korea, the tweet added.

And Japan’s defence ministry has issued an order for the Air Self-Defense Force to destroy any ballistic missile confirmed to be on course to fall into the country’s territory.

The troops would be authorised to use Standard Missile SM-3 and Patriot Missile PAC-3 to shoot down a projectile in mid-air, the ministry said.

“Even if it’s described as a satellite, a launch using ballistic missile technology would be a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and a serious problem that threatens the safety of people,” Kishida told reporters.

Pyongyang has intensified its missile launches in recent months, with some triggering emergency warning systems in parts of Japan.

Seoul and Tokyo have meanwhile been working to mend long-frayed ties, including with greater cooperation on North Korea’s military threats.

Asked about possible negotiations with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Kishida on Monday reiterated that Tokyo is open to talks, adding he was interested in “making concrete progress”.

North Korean state media meanwhile published a statement from its vice-minister of foreign affairs, appearing to endorse a conciliatory approach to relations with Japan — an unusual stance from Pyongyang.

If Japan avoids “being shackled by the past, and seeks a way out for improving the relations, there is no reason for the DPRK and Japan not to meet”, the statement from Pak Sang Gil said.

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India successfully puts into orbit its first 2nd Gen navigation satellite

The Indian satellite navigation system NavIC consists of nine satellites — seven in orbit and two as substitutes. NVS series of satellites will sustain and augment the NavIC with enhanced features…reports VENKATACHARI JAGANNATHAN

India successfully put into orbit the first of its second generation navigation satellite NVS-01 on Monday in a copy book style.

The 2,232 kg NVS-01 satellite — part of Indian satellite navigation system NavIC or originally called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)– was carried by Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Simply put, NavIC is an Indian ‘GPS’ – Global Positioning System.

Around 10.42 a.m. the three staged GSLV rocket standing 51.7 metre tall and weighing 420 ton rose up into the skies from the second launch pad here.

Breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull the rocket went up and up with a bright orange fire at its tail.

At the rocket mission control room Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket’s flight progress.

Just over 19 minutes into the flight the rocket slung NVS-01 into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) from where the satellite will be taken up to its final position.

The Indian satellite navigation system NavIC consists of nine satellites — seven in orbit and two as substitutes. NVS series of satellites will sustain and augment the NavIC with enhanced features.

The NVS-01 with a mission life of 12 years is powered by two solar arrays capable of generating power up to 2.4kW and a lithium-ion battery during the eclipse.

This series has payloads that operate on L1, L5 and S bands thereby widening its services.

The L1 navigation band is popular for providing Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services for civilian users and for interoperability with other Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, ISRO said.

Be that as it may, ISRO had used imported atomic clocks on all the nine navigation satellites it had launched earlier. Each satellite had three atomic clocks.

It was said the NavIC satellites were performing well until the atomic clocks in IRNSS-1A failed.

Sources in ISRO had earlier said some of the atomic clocks in a couple of other satellites too were not functioning properly. The clocks are used for precise time and location.

Currently there are eight first generation NavIC satellites in orbit. A senior ISRO official told IANS that out of the eight NavIC satellites in orbit four are functional for navigation services and four others are messaging services.

India has launched nine first generation NavIC satellites including the two standby satellites. The first standby satellite was lost in the sky as the heatshield of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) did not open which necessitated the orbiting of the second standby.

The standby satellites were used as IRNSS-1A satellite launched in July 2013 was not performing to the mark owing to the failure of its imported rubidium atomic clocks.

The atomic clocks are important to give accurate positional data. Each satellite has three atomic clocks. The outlay for the IRNSS/first generation NavIC systems was said to be about Rs 1,420 crore.

As per a senior ISRO official five more of this version of NVS are planned now. Two more are needed after 2 to 3 years to take care of the end of life of present ones.

According to him, the cost of these five satellites are less than Rs 1,000 crore.

Like the other NavIC satellites, NVS-01 carries two types of payloads — navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L1, L5 and S-band.

The ranging payload consists of a CxC transponder used for two way CDMA ranging to facilitate precise orbit determination. “In addition to the L1 band, we have a highly secured code for strategic signals in L5 and S bands,” the senior ISRO official remarked.

According to ISRO, NavIC is useful for various civil and strategic applications. The eight NavIC satellites that are in orbit are: IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F, IRNSS-1G and IRNSS-1I. The NVS-01 launched on Monday will be the ninth one.

India plans to have more 2nd Gen NavIC satellites

The Indian space agency is planning to have five more of the second generation navigation satellites at an outlay of about Rs 1,000 crore as part of its NavIC system, said a senior official.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday morning will be launching the first of its second generation navigation satellites called NVS-01.

“Five more of this version of NVS are planned now. Two more are needed after 2 to 3 years to take care of the end of life of present ones,” the official said. According to him, the cost of these five satellites are less than Rs 1,000 crore.

Interestingly, for the first time, an indigenous rubidium atomic clock developed by ISRO’s Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad will be flown in NVS-01.

According to the ISRO official, NVS-01 will have one indigenous atomic clock and three procured ones. Each NaVIC satellite will have three atomic clocks.

The satellite with a mission life of 12 years is powered by two solar arrays capable of generating power upto 2.4kW and a lithium-ion battery during the eclipse. NVS series of satellites will sustain and augment the NavIC with enhanced features. This series has payloads that operate on L1, L5 and S bands thereby widening its services.

ALSO READ-ISRO’s LVM3 injects 36 satellites into orbits


iDEX-DIO signs 250th contract under Mission DefSpace

The solution by Siliconia can provide multiple independent receiver/transmitter sources that are essential in phased-array radars, typically used in satellite tracking…reports Asian Lite News

Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the flagship initiative of the Ministry of Defence, has signed its 250th contract — the first under Mission DefSpace — and 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract in New Delhi.

The first iDEX contract of Mission DefSpace was exchanged between Additional Secretary (Defence Production) and CEO Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) T. Natarajan and CEO of InspeCity, Arindrajit Chowdhary, one of the winners of the ‘Micropropulsion system for CubeSats’ challenge. This challenge is being led by the Defence Space Agency.

Cubesats are a class of smallsats, which are modular; low-cost, easy to manufacture, integrate, and launch; and form a critical component for launch-on-demand capabilities.

According to the Ministry of Defence, for imagery, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance or communication purposes, CubeSats need to be precisely aligned, hence there is a requirement of a compact micropropulsion system for precise manoeuvring and orbit correction.

InspeCity is developing a gas-based system for this purpose. This technology, once developed, can be integrated with other satellites, including the CubeSat swarm being developed under Mission DefSpace, a Ministry of Defence official added.

Recognising the strategic significance of the space domain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Mission DefSpace with 75 Defence Space Challenges to be addressed by the private sector during DefExpo at Gandhinagar in October 2022. It aims to nurture the Indian Private Space industry through challenges addressing every stage of a space mission — from mission planning to satellite data analytics.

In the presence of Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane the 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract was exchanged between AS (DP) and CEO-DIO and CEO, Siliconia Technologies Pvt Ltd Sushil Eknath Ghule.

Siliconia Technologies Pvt Ltd is the winner of the challenge which envisaged the development of a prototype that is a lightweight ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit)-based communication system using software defined antenna for low earth orbit, medium earth orbit and geostationary satellite communication.

The solution by Siliconia can provide multiple independent receiver/transmitter sources that are essential in phased-array radars, typically used in satellite tracking.

The Ministry said that under the ‘SPRINT’ initiative, a total of 75 Challenge statements for the Indian industry were unveiled by Modi during the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban’ on July 18, 2022. The initiative aims at inducting at least 75 technologies or products into the Indian Navy by August 2023.

The Defence Ministry said that the iDEX achieved the milestone of signing its first and 50th iDEX SPRINT contracts under DISC-7 in October 2022 and January 2023, respectively, and within a few months the 100th SPRINT (Navy) contract was exchanged.

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Al Neyadi all set for historic spacewalk

The UAE will become the 10th country to execute a spacewalk on the International Space Station…reports Asian Lite News

UAE Astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi is scheduled to make history today as the first Arab astronaut to perform a spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) during Expedition 69, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) said today.

“It’s the first Arab spacewalk in history, a new Emirati milestone that will mark the Arab space exploration journey. The live coverage will begin at 4:30 PM. The mission will start at 5:15 PM (UAE time),” said MBRSC in its official twitter account.

On Friday, April 28, the UAE will become the 10th country to execute a spacewalk on the ISS, with Al Neyadi taking part in the 261st spacewalk in support of space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

The fourth spacewalk of the year on the ISS will be historic, as Al Neyadi and Nasa Flight Engineer Stephen Bowen collaborate to complete critical duties.

“Tomorrow, Steve Bowen and I will do a spacewalk outside the ISS to change the Radio Frequency Group unit and prepare for the installation of solar panels. After a long period of training, we are ready to take on the challenge and create a new milestone for our mission,” tweeted Al Neyadi from ISS.

UAE writing new chapter

The UAE is writing a new chapter of achievements in the space sector.

Earlier this week, the UAE announced a series of updates and new photos of the small Martian moon, “Deimos,” which were taken by the three scientific devices of the Hope Probe during its passage through its closest point to the Moon, at a distance of only some 100 kilometres.

The images, which capture the farside of the 12.4-km-wide Deimos, were taken during a fly-by performed on March 10, Nature reported.

Instead of the carbon-rich rock often found in asteroids, the scientists found a flat spectrum which is suggestive of the type of material seen on Mars’ surface. This shows that Deimos was formed from the same material as the planet.

Meanwhile, the Hope Probe will focus on collecting data and monitoring observations that will facilitate research in the relationship between the upper and lower layers of the Martian atmosphere, which will enable the scientific community to have an accurate understanding of the climate and atmosphere of times at different times of the day.

Research samples sent from space

AlNeyadi along with his crew was responsible for sending back critical research samples on the Dragon cargo spacecraft before its return from the 27th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft carrying approximately 1950 kg of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth, splashed down off the coast of Tampa, Florida in the US on Sunday at 12:58 UAE time.

AlNeyadi, who has been working on scientific experiments on the ISS, completed the stowage of critical research samples along with his Expedition 69 crew members, that include NASA’s Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg and Frank Rubio.

AlNeyadi further accessed the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer (MELFI) on the ISS, that can reach temperatures to a low of -100°C, to preserve some samples before sending them to Earth and was also involved in loading the used station hardware inside the Dragon spacecraft.

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Work Begins on Rashid 2

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed noted that though the attempt to land the Rashid Rover on the moon was unsuccessful, “we kept our aspirations high.”..reports Asian Lite News

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced Rashid 2, a new Emirati lunar mission that will be undertaken by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, visited the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre and met with the team behind the UAE’s first attempt to land a rover on the lunar surface. Stressing the importance of determination in achieving success in the space industry, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE will continue to launch new space exploration missions.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that though the attempt to land the Rashid Rover on the moon was unsuccessful, “we kept our aspirations high.”

“Emiratis have proved their ability to develop advanced space projects and rapidly create a vibrant national space sector,” he further said. “The UAE built a space sector from scratch within just 10 years. The Rashid Rover mission was driven by the country’s ambitious vision for space exploration,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said that any space mission has to contend with high levels of risk, which it manages in a scientific and systematic way to advance exploration and experimentation.

Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE will continue to develop its expertise and build an advanced space sector. Interacting with the MBRSC team, he said, “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid once said ‘The biggest risk in life is not taking any risk’.”

Noting that the UAE is poised to enter a new phase of space exploration, he said, “Today, under the directives and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we announce the launch of the Rashid 2 project, a new Emirati attempt to reach the moon.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed met with the national team of the Emirates Lunar Mission (ELM) after the iSpace confirmed the unsuccessful landing of the HAKUTO-R lander on Wednesday 25th April, 2023.

After five months journeying through space, the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander was scheduled to make a historic touchdown yesterday in the Atlas Crater, which is in the northeastern sector of the Moon. However, the signal from the lander cut out at the last minute.

So far, no privately operated spacecraft has ever landed softly on the moon, besides those operated by national space agencies of the US (NASA), Russia (Roscosmos) and China (China National Space Administration).

In 2019, two attempted lunar landings, India’s Vikram lander and Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL’s Beresheet had both crashed. In those landing attempts, the trajectory and speed data went awry before the signals were lost.

Through the Emirates Lunar Mission, MBRSC accomplished its ambitious goal of designing and building the world’s most compact rover and becoming the first Emirati and Arab rover to reach the lunar orbit before the landing attempt onboard iSpace’s HAKUTO-R lander. These achievements are momentous for a nation’s first lunar mission and highlight the UAE’s commitment to advancing space exploration.

The Rashid Rover, integrated into iSpace’s HAKUTO-R lander, successfully lifted off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 11th December at 11:38 UAE time from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. The ELM marked the first Emirati lunar mission, making the UAE the first Arab country to ascend toward the lunar surface.

The world’s most compact rover, the Rashid Rover was built to traverse and explore the Moon’s surface with a unique configuration. Weighing about 10 kilograms, the Rover is around 80 centimetres high, around 53.5 centimetres long, and close to 53.85 centimetres wide.

MBRSC partnered with 10 international and four UAE-based entities for the Emirates Lunar Mission’s science programme. In collaboration with close to 40 scientists and researchers, MBRSC developed the main instruments, the optical cameras, microscopic imager and Langmuir probe on board the Rashid Rover.

Also accompanying Their Highnesses on the visit to MBRSC were Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs; Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of MBRSC; Hamad Obaid AlMansoori, Chairman of MBRSC; and Salem Al Marri, Director-General of MBRSC, and a number of senior officials of the Centre.

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Hope Probe shakes up theories on Mars’ moons

The observations reveal, for the first time, regions on the far-side of Deimos which have never been compositionally investigated….reports Asian Lite News

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has unveiled a series of unique and ground-breaking observations of Mars’ smaller moon, Deimos, using all three of its science instruments to ‘advance our fundamental understanding’ of Mars’ most mysterious moon and its larger companion, Phobos.

The new observations challenge the longstanding theory that Mars’ moons are captured asteroids and instead point to a planetary origin.

The observations, shared today during a special session at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, provide new insights into Deimos’ makeup and structure.

These include high resolution images taken during the closest repeated flybys of the moon, as well as the first ever observations made in the extreme and far ultraviolet and the first well-resolved hyperspectral data of Deimos in the thermal infrared.

The observations reveal, for the first time, regions on the far-side of Deimos which have never been compositionally investigated. The closest flybys saw Hope pass approximately 100km from Deimos.

“We are unsure of the origins of both Phobos and Deimos,” said Hessa Al Matroushi, EMM Science Lead. “One long-standing theory is that they are captured asteroids, but there are unresolved questions about their composition.”

“How exactly they came to be in their current orbits is also an active area of study, and so any new information we can gain on the two moons, especially the more rarely observed Deimos, has the potential to unlock new understanding of Mars’ satellites. Our close observations of Deimos so far point to a planetary origin rather than reflecting the composition of a type D asteroid as has been postulated.”

It came from Mars

“Much like data acquired of Phobos indicate its composition is not consistent with a captured D-type asteroid, early results from EMIRS observations of Deimos tell a similar story. Both of these bodies have infrared properties more akin to a basaltic Mars than a D-type asteroid such as the Taggish Lake meteorite that is often used as an analog for the spectral properties of Phobos and Deimos.” Said EMIRS Instrument Scientist Christopher Edwards.

Hope has so far made a number of close flybys of Deimos following its transition to a modified orbit using a process known as a ‘Lambert transfer’, a manoeuvre that subtly but consequentially altered Hope’s orbital trajectory to enable Deimos observations while maintaining the mission’s ability to create planet-wide observations of Mars’ atmospheric dynamics.

“We have a unique opportunity with Hope, to characterize the composition, thermophysics, and detailed geomorphology of Deimos with these new observations,” commented Justin Deighan, EMM Deputy Science Lead. “We expect to build a better understanding of both Phobos and Deimos’ origins and evolution and advance our fundamental understanding of these two satellites of Mars.”

While both Mars moons were discovered via telescope in the 19th century, detailed study only became possible during the Space Age. Deimos is the less observed and understood of the two moons, being smaller and orbiting in a wider orbit that completes every 30 hours. Its companion, Phobos, is both larger and orbits closer to Mars, making it more convenient for observation by spacecraft at the Red Planet, most of which reside at even lower altitudes. The distinctively large orbit occupied by Hope around Mars, designed to optimize coverage when studying the planet’s atmosphere, enabled the unique opportunity to study Deimos high detail.

Hope’s first fly-bys of Deimos commenced in late January and early February 2023, with instrument calibration passes and close fly-bys taking place from March onwards supporting high resolution images and observations by the EXI, EMIRS and EMUS instruments on Hope. The closest flybys saw Hope pass approximately 100km from Deimos, the closest approach made by a spacecraft to Mars’ smaller moon since the Viking mission in 1977. Hope will continue a sustained campaign of Deimos fly-bys throughout 2023.

The new findings come as the UAE Space Agency, responsible for the funding and operation of the Emirates Mars Mission, confirmed the extension of EMM’s mission for a further year.

“The remarkable performance of the Mars Hope probe has supported a whole range of new observations in addition to meeting our originally stated science mission goals,” said UAE Space Agency Chair Sarah Al Amiri. “We made new observations in partnership with ESA/JAXA’s BepiColombo spacecraft during our cruise to Mars, encapsulated a range of novel observations of Mars’ auroral displays including never before observed aurora and now have transferred our orbit to not only continue to support our unique observations of Mars’ atmosphere, but also make new observations of Deimos. In the circumstances, Hope exceeding all expectations, we are extending the Emirates Mars Mission for a further year.”

Hope is currently following its planned 20,000 – 43,000 km elliptical science orbit, with an inclination to Mars of 25 degrees, incorporating subtle changes to support its additional Deimos observations. The probe completes one orbit of the planet every 55 hours and captures a full planetary data sample every nine days throughout its mission to map Mar’s atmospheric dynamics.

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Rashid Rover ready for touchdown

All eyes of Rashid Rover as the explorer gears up to land on lunar surface today…reports Asian Lite News

UAE is all set to write history as Rashid Rover, onboard the HAKUTO-R Mission 1 Lunar Lander, is scheduled to land on the Moon today at 8:40 PM (UAE time).

At around 7:40 PM, the lander carrying Rashid Rover will perform multiple orbital control manoeuvrers to reach a 100 km circular orbit around the Moon before initiating the landing sequence. During the landing sequence, the lander will perform a braking burn, firing its main propulsion system to decelerate from orbit. Utilising a series of pre-set commands, the lander will adjust its altitude and reduce velocity to make a soft landing on the confirmed site of Atlas Crater in the Mare Frigoris.

The ELM team will complete close to a total 370 minutes of communication with the world’s most compact rover before landing, along with 12 mission rehearsals for surface operations. The mission rehearsal is crucial for the engineering team to be prepared and ready with their programmes for execution post the lunar landing and also enable the different teams on the subsystems to sync their operational work.

The next stage of navigation for HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lunar lander that holds the Rashid Rover includes the completion of all planned lunar orbital control manoeuvrers before the landing sequence as well as confirm that the lander is ready to start the landing sequence. In case of any changes in operational conditions, three alternative landing sites, with the next landing opportunities set for 26th April, 1st and 3rd May, have also been scheduled.

The Emirates Lunar Mission is funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE.

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Bellatrix Aerospace’s payload to fly on PSLV

The Indian space agency uses the final stage (PS4) of the PSLV rocket as an orbital platform for in-orbit experiments…reports Asian Lite News

India’s private space player Bellatrix Aerospace will send its experimental payload on Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C55) that is set to blast off on April 22 afternoon, said a senior ISRO official.

“Bellatrix Aerospace’s payload will be flying in POEM (PSLV Orbital Experimental Module). It is an electric propulsion experiment,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official said.

“Bellatrix ARKA series HET (solar electric propulsion) on board, ready for liftoff!” the company had tweeted. 

The Indian space agency uses the final stage (PS4) of the PSLV rocket as an orbital platform for in-orbit experiments.

The POEM derives the power from the solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank and a Li Ion battery. It navigates using four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros, and NavIC, andcarries dedicated control thrusters using helium gas storage. It is enabled with telecommand feature, ISRO had said.

The main payload of the PSLV C55 rocket will be the Singaporean earth observation satellite TeLEOS-2.

According to ISRO, the rocket is slated to liftoff from the rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 2.19 pm on April 22.

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