Science USA

Perseverance rover confirms ancient lake on Mars

Between May and December 2022, Perseverance drove from the crater floor onto the delta, a vast expanse of 3 billion-year-old sediments that, from orbit, resembles the river deltas on Earth…reports Asian Lite News

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has verified lake sediments at the base of the Jezero crater, confirming the presence of an ancient lake on Mars, and reinforcing hope that traces of life may exist on the Red Planet, according to a study.

The research, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that at some point, the crater filled with water, depositing layers of sediments on the crater floor.

The lake subsequently shrank and sediments carried by the river that fed it formed an enormous delta. As the lake dissipated over time, the sediments in the crater were eroded, forming the geologic features visible on the surface today.

The periods of deposition and erosion took place over aeons of environmental changes, the radar indicates, confirming that inferences about the Jezero crater’s geologic history based on Mars images obtained from space are accurate.

“From orbit we can see a bunch of different deposits, but we can’t tell for sure if what we’re seeing is their original state, or if we’re seeing the conclusion of a long geological story,” said David Paige, professor of Earth, planetary and space sciences at University of California-Los Angeles.

“To tell how these things formed, we need to see below the surface,” Paige said.

The rover, which is about the size of a car and carries seven scientific instruments, has been exploring the 30-mile-wide crater, studying its geology and atmosphere and collecting samples since 2021. Perseverance’s soil and rock samples will be brought back to Earth by a future expedition and studied for evidence of past life.

Between May and December 2022, Perseverance drove from the crater floor onto the delta, a vast expanse of 3 billion-year-old sediments that, from orbit, resembles the river deltas on Earth.

As the rover drove onto the delta, Perseverance’s Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) instrument fired radar waves downward at 10-centimetre intervals and measured pulses reflected from depths of about 20 metres below the surface.

With the radar, scientists can see down to the base of the sediments to reveal the top surface of the buried crater floor.

Years of research with ground-penetrating radar and testing of RIMFAX on Earth have taught scientists how to read the structure and composition of subsurface layers from their radar reflections. The resulting subsurface image shows rock layers that can be interpreted like a highway road cut.

RIMFAX imaging revealed two distinct periods of sediment deposition sandwiched between two periods of erosion. The researchers reported that the crater floor below the delta is not uniformly flat, suggesting that a period of erosion occurred prior to the deposition of lake sediments.

The radar images show that the sediments are regular and horizontal — just like sediments deposited in lakes on Earth. The existence of lake sediments had been suspected in previous studies, but has been confirmed by this research.

A second period of deposition occurred when fluctuations in the lake level allowed the river to deposit a broad delta that once extended far out into the lake, but has now eroded back closer to the river’s mouth.

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NASA proposes solar-powered plane to explore Mars

The aircraft will be able to overcome the low density of the Martian atmosphere with a magnitude higher than conventional subsonic aircraft…reports Asian Lite News

US space agency NASA has proposed to develop a new mobility Mars exploration platform that will use solar energy to explore the Red Planet.

The Mars Aerial and Ground Intelligent Explorer (MAGGIE) is a compact fixed wing aircraft with ultra-high productivity efficiency powered by solar energy to fly in the Martian atmosphere.

It will have vertical take-off/landing (VTOL) capability, enabled by advanced deflected slipstream technology with CoFlow Jet (CFJ).

“MAGGIE would be able to perform the first global-scale atmospheric mission at Mars and revolutionise our capability of exploring almost the entirety of the Martian surface. It is the first concept to enable ongoing exploration of this region of Mars and would provide a substantial leap in capability for NASA’s exploration of the Red Planet,” the agency said in a statement.

The attractiveness of airborne missions on Mars has been amply demonstrated by the Ingenuity helicopter, which landed on the Red Planet in February 2021 attached to the belly of NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover.

Originally tasked with only five test flights to prove its “pioneering” technology, Ingenuity helicopter exceeded all expectations with 72nd flights on the Red Planet.

“MAGGIE would be similarly engaging to the public, both in its audacity, and in the variety of environments it could explore, study, and image. The technology would also enhance VTOL aircraft technology on Earth and other planets,” NASA said.

The aircraft will be able to overcome the low density of the Martian atmosphere with a magnitude higher than conventional subsonic aircraft.

The range of MAGGIE for a fully charged battery per 7.6 sol is 179 km at altitude of 1,000 m. The total range of MAGGIE per Martian year is 16,048 km.

The representative mission for MAGGIE presented would conduct three atmospheric and geophysical investigations.

These include a study of the origin and timing of the Martian core dynamo from the weak magnetic fields found in the large impact basins, a regional investigation of the source of methane signals detected by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Mars Science Laboratory in Gale crater, and mapping of subsurface water ice at high resolution in the mid-latitudes where it has been observed from orbit.

The conceptual MAGGIE system study indicates that the concept appears to be feasible, but needs to be further investigated, designed, and verified under Martian atmospheric conditions in Phase I, NASA said.

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Tech Lite Technology

Musk backs moon base, cities on Mars

The tech billionaire has predicted that SpaceX’s Starship mega rocket can make an uncrewed mission to Mars in three or four years...reports Asian Lite News

Half a century has passed since the last Moon landing, which is disappointing for humanity and we should now aim to have a living base in space, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Monday. The Apollo 11 mission in 1969 first landed humans on the Moon.

Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969 and Armstrong became the first person to step onto the Moon’s surface six hours and 39 minutes later, on July 21. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later, and they spent about two and a quarter hours together exploring the site they had named Tranquility Base upon landing. “Only 66 years from first flight to landing on the moon, but now half a century has passed since the last moon landing,” Musk posted on X. He said that this cannot be “our high water mark as a civilisation”.

“Humanity should have a moon base, cities on Mars and be out there among the stars,” the X owner added. Musk has bigger plans for traveling beyond Earth’s orbit. “We should have a base on the moon, like a permanently occupied human base on the moon, and then send people to Mars. Maybe there’s something beyond the space station, but we’ll see,” he had said in the past. The tech billionaire has predicted that SpaceX’s Starship mega rocket can make an uncrewed mission to Mars in three or four years.

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AI may help find life on Mars, other planets  

The innovative analytical method does not rely simply on identifying a specific molecule or group of compounds in a sample…reports Asian Lite News

Scientists have developed a novel Artificial Intelligence-based method that can test for signs of past or present life on Mars and other planets.

In the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS), the team said their Artificial Intelligence (AI) -based method can distinguish modern and ancient biological samples from those of abiotic origin with 90 per cent accuracy.

“The search for extraterrestrial life remains one of the most tantalising endeavours in modern science,” said lead author Jim Cleaves of the Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC.

“The implications of this new research are many, but there are three big takeaways: First, at some deep level, biochemistry differs from abiotic organic chemistry; second, we can look at Mars and ancient Earth samples to tell if they were once alive; and third, it is likely this new method could distinguish alternative biospheres from those of Earth, with significant implications for future astrobiology missions,” Cleaves said.

The innovative analytical method does not rely simply on identifying a specific molecule or group of compounds in a sample.

Instead, the researchers demonstrated that AI can differentiate biotic from abiotic samples by detecting subtle differences within a sample’s molecular patterns as revealed by pyrolysis gas chromatography analysis (which separates and identifies a sample’s component parts), followed by mass spectrometry (which determines the molecular weights of those components).

Vast multidimensional data from the molecular analyses of 134 known abiotic or biotic carbon-rich samples were used to train AI to predict a new sample’s origin.

With approximately 90 per cent accuracy, AI successfully identified samples that had originated from: Living things, such as modern shells, teeth, bones, insects, leaves, rice, human hair, and cells preserved in fine-grained rock; remnants of ancient life altered by geological processing (e.g. coal, oil, amber, and carbon-rich fossils) or samples with abiotic origins, such as pure laboratory chemicals (e.g., amino acids) and carbon-rich meteorites.

The researchers said that until now the origins of many ancient carbon-bearing samples have been difficult to determine because collections of organic molecules, whether biotic or abiotic, tend to degrade over time.

Surprisingly, in spite of significant decay and alteration, the new analytical method detected signs of biology preserved in some instances over hundreds of millions of years.

“These results mean that we may be able to find a life form from another planet, another biosphere, even if it is very different from the life we know on Earth. And, if we do find signs of life elsewhere, we can tell if life on Earth and other planets derived from a common or different origin,” said Dr. Robert Hazen, from the laboratory.

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Tech Lite

AI may help find life on Mars

It also substantially reduced the area — by up to 97 per cent — the team needed to search, signalling the efficacy of the AI model to one day detect signs of life on other planets…reports Asian Lite News

Artificial intelligence (AI) may help scientists find the exact place to look for while finding life on Mars and other icy worlds, a new study has suggested.

A team of astrobiologists developed an AI model and tested its ability to look out for sparse life hidden away in salt domes, rocks and crystals at Salar de Pajonales at the boundary of the Chilean Atacama Desert and Altiplano — one of the driest places on the planet, resembling the features of a Martian surface.

Pajonales is a high altitude (3,541 m), high U/V, hyperarid, dry salt lakebed, considered inhospitable to many life forms but still habitable.

The results, reported in the journal Nature Astronomy, showed that the AI model helped scientists locate and detect biosignatures — any feature which provides evidence of past or present life — up to 87.5 per cent of the time.

It also substantially reduced the area — by up to 97 per cent — the team needed to search, signalling the efficacy of the AI model to one day detect signs of life on other planets.

Currently, researchers have limited opportunities to collect samples on Mars or elsewhere or access remote sensing instruments when hunting for life beyond Earth. The new AI model will help scientists’ with the exact place to look for while finding life on other worlds.

“We hope other astrobiology teams adapt our approach to mapping other habitable environments and biosignatures,” said lead researcher Kim Warren-Rhodes, Senior Research Scientist at SETI Institute.

“With these models, we can design tailor-made roadmaps and algorithms to guide rovers to places with the highest probability of harbouring past or present life — no matter how hidden or rare,” Warren-Rhodes added.

The team, including from the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), collected over 7,765 images and 1,154 samples and tested instruments to detect photosynthetic microbes living within the salt domes, rocks and alabaster crystals.

The study’s findings confirm (statistically) that microbial life at the Pajonales terrestrial analog site is not distributed randomly but concentrated in patchy biological hotspots strongly linked to water availability at km to cm scales.

Next, the team trained convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to recognise and predict macro-scale geologic features at Pajonales — some of which, like patterned ground or polygonal networks, are also found on Mars — and micro-scale substrates (or ‘micro-habitats’) most likely to contain biosignatures.

Like the Perseverance team on Mars, the researchers tested how to effectively integrate a UAV/drone with ground-based rovers, drills and instruments (e.g., VISIR on ‘MastCam-Z’ and Raman on ‘SuperCam’ on the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover).

“While the high-rate of biosignature detection is a central result of this study, no less important is that it successfully integrated datasets at vastly different resolutions from orbit to the ground, and finally tied regional orbital data with microbial habitats,” said Nathalie A. Cabrol from the SETI Institute NAI team.

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Mars InSight lander posts its last image  

“We’re starting to really tease out the details. Now it’s not just this enigma; it’s actually a living, breathing planet.”…reports Asian Lite News

NASA’s Mars InSight lander on Tuesday posted its last image on Twitter as it prepares to fall silent anytime, ending its history-making mission to reveal secrets of the Red Planet’s interior.

The spacecraft’s power generation continues to decline as windblown dust on its solar panels thickens. The end is expected to come anytime.

“My power’s really low, so this may be the last image I can send. Don’t worry about me though: my time here has been both productive and serene. If I can keep talking to my mission team, I will – but I’ll be signing off here soon. Thanks for staying with me,” posted the InSight lander team.

The 30-member odd operations team – a small group compared to other Mars missions – continues to squeeze the most they can out of InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport).

The most important of the final steps with the InSight mission is storing its trove of data and making it accessible to researchers around the world.

The lander data has yielded details about Mars’ interior layers, its liquid core, the surprisingly variable remnants beneath the surface of its mostly extinct magnetic field, weather on this part of Mars, and lots of quake activity, according to NASA.

InSight’s seismometer has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes since the lander touched down in November 2018, the largest measuring a magnitude 5. It even recorded quakes from meteoroid impacts.

“Finally, we can see Mars as a planet with layers, with different thicknesses, compositions,” said Bruce Banerdt of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, the mission’s principal investigator.

“We’re starting to really tease out the details. Now it’s not just this enigma; it’s actually a living, breathing planet.”

The seismometer readings will join the only other sets of extraterrestrial seismic data, from the Apollo lunar missions and the Viking Mars missions, in NASA’s Planetary Data System.

They will also go into an international archive run by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, which houses “all the terrestrial seismic network data locations”, said JPL’s Sue Smrekar, InSight’s deputy principal investigator. “Now, we also have one on Mars.”

Smrekar said the data is expected to continue yielding discoveries for decades. There will be no heroic measures to re-establish contact with InSight. While a mission-saving event – a strong gust of wind, say, that cleans the panels off – isn’t out of the question, it is considered unlikely.

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NASA’s Curiosity finds bizarre spikes on Mars

Meanwhile, NASA is set to launch three rockets into space from a private space port in Australia for scientific research…reports Asian Lite News

The Curiosity rover, sent by US space agency NASA to explore the Mars, has found some strange rock formation on the Red Planet, media reported.

The strange, twisting structures are seen poking out of the surface of Mars in the high resolution image sent by the rover to the base station.

The SETI Institute, a not-for-profit research organisation focused on searching for life in the Universe, highlighted the image in a tweet last week.

“Here is another cool rock at Gale crater on Mars! The spikes are most likely the cemented fillings of ancient fractures in a sedimentary rock. The rest of the rock was made of softer material and was eroded away,” it tweeted along with the image.

Meanwhile, NASA is set to launch three rockets into space from a private space port in Australia for scientific research.

The rockets will be launched between June 26 and July 12 from the Arnhem Space Centre, which is owned and run by Equatorial Launch Australia, the Guardian reported.

This is going to be the first time that NASA is launching rockets from a commercial facility outside the US, and the first NASA rockets launched from Australia since 1995.

The mission aims to investigate heliophysics, astrophysics and planetary science phenomena only observable from the southern hemisphere, the report said.

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New study suggests moon soil can generate fuel, oxygen

Nanjing University material scientists Yingfang Yao and Zhigang Zou hope to design a system that takes advantage of lunar soil and solar radiation, the two most abundant resources on the moon…reports Asian Lite News

Moon soil contains active compounds that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuels, according to a recent study.

The study was published in the journal, ‘Joule’.

Nanjing University material scientists Yingfang Yao and Zhigang Zou hope to design a system that takes advantage of lunar soil and solar radiation, the two most abundant resources on the moon. After analyzing the lunar soil brought back by China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft, their team found the sample contains compounds — including iron-rich and titanium-rich substances — that could work as a catalyst to make desired products such as oxygen using sunlight and carbon dioxide.

Based on the observation, the team proposed an “extraterrestrial photosynthesis” strategy. Mainly, the system uses lunar soil to electrolyze water extracted from the moon and in astronauts’ breathing exhaust into oxygen and hydrogen-powered by sunlight. The carbon dioxide exhaled by moon inhabitants is also collected and combined with hydrogen from water electrolysis during a hydrogenation process catalyzed by lunar soil.

The process yields hydrocarbons such as methane, which could be used as fuel. The strategy uses no external energy but sunlight to produce a variety of desirable products such as water, oxygen, and fuel that could support life on a moonbase, the researchers said. The team is looking for an opportunity to test the system in space, likely with China’s future crewed lunar missions.

“We use in-situ environmental resources to minimize rocket payload, and our strategy provides a scenario for a sustainable and affordable extraterrestrial living environment,” Yao said.

While the catalytic efficiency of lunar soil is less than catalysts available on Earth, Yao said the team is testing different approaches to improve the design, such as melting the lunar soil into a nanostructured high-entropy material, which is a better catalyst.

Previously, scientists have proposed many strategies for extraterrestrial survival. But most designs require energy sources from Earth. For example, NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover brought an instrument that can use carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere to make oxygen, but it’s powered by a nuclear battery onboard.

“In the near future, we will see the crewed spaceflight industry developing rapidly,” said Yao.

“Just like the ‘Age of Sail’ in the 1600s when hundreds of ships head to the sea, we will enter an ‘Age of Space.’ But if we want to carry out large-scale exploration of the extraterrestrial world, we will need to think of ways to reduce payload, meaning relying on as little supplies from Earth as possible and using extraterrestrial resources instead,” he concluded. (ANI)

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UAE, US Mars missions finalise plans to collaborate

The United Arab Emirates has partnered with US space agency NASA on a Mars mission to boost scientific collaborations on the Red Planet…reports Asian Lite News

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has finalised a science data analysis collaboration initiative with NASA’s MAVEN Mars Mission, which will pave the way towards greater scientific collaboration and data exchange between the two missions.

The partnership enables the sharing and collaborative analysis of data and observations made by the Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe and NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) project and will enhance scientific returns from both spacecraft, which are currently orbiting Mars and observing the Red Planet’s atmosphere. The arrangement is expected to add significant value to both EMM and MAVEN and the global scientific communities analysing the data the missions are collecting.

“Since the inception of EMM, the project has been defined by strong international collaborations and partnerships. The opportunity to work alongside other Mars missions and derive greater insights by sharing our observations and working together to fit together the pieces of the puzzle is one we are delighted to take. The complementarity of EMM and MAVEN means we can truly gain a bigger picture together,” said Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission.

MAVEN completed its Mars orbit insertion in 2014. Its mission is to investigate the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Mars, offering an insight into how the planet’s climate has changed over time.

“MAVEN and EMM are each exploring different aspects of the Martian atmosphere and upper-atmosphere system. Combined, we will have a much better understanding of the coupling between the two and the influence of the lower atmosphere on escape to space of gas from the upper atmosphere,” said Shannon Curry, Research scientist in planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and MAVEN Principal Investigator.

The Emirates Mars Mission’s Hope Probe, which entered Mars orbit on 9th February 2021, is studying the relationship between the upper layer and lower regions of the Martian atmosphere, giving the international science community full access to a holistic view of the planet’s atmosphere at different times of the day, through different seasons.

Sharaf added, “EMM science complements MAVEN and the Hope probe was designed to answer scientific objectives aligned directly with MEPAG goals. Its observations were always designed to provide new insights that weren’t possible from past Mars missions. Now, by combining the two datasets from the EMM and MAVEN missions and analysing the results together, we can build a powerful response to many fundamental questions we have about Mars and the evolution and dynamics of its atmosphere.”

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EMM was designed to answer a number of objectives defined by the global grouping of Mars scientists and researchers, MEPAG – the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group. Following on from MAVEN and other previous missions, Hope set out to measure the global, diurnal and seasonal response of the Martian atmosphere to solar forcing; the atmospheric conditions relating to the rate of atmospheric escape – particularly of Hydrogen and Oxygen and the temporal and spatial behaviour of Mars’ exosphere. With early results showing exciting observations of Mars’ discrete aurora and additional bandwidth and resources available to encompass additional observations, further measurements of auroral phenomena have been brought into the mission’s goals, extending its capabilities beyond Hope’s planned goals.

EMM and the Hope Probe are the culmination of a knowledge transfer and development effort that started in 2006, which has seen Emirati engineers working with partners around the world to develop the UAE’s spacecraft design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities.

Weighing some 1,350 kg, and approximately the size of a small SUV, the spacecraft was designed and developed by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) engineers working with academic partners, including the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

The MAVEN mission is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for the Principal Investigator at the University of California at Berkeley. Spacecraft operations are carried out by Lockheed Martin, and science operations by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

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Hope Probe marks first anniversary

The Probe’s arrival at Mars orbit marked a historic achievement for the Emirates and the Arab world and has resulted in unique and challenging observations of the Red Planet, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), the first Arab interplanetary mission, today celebrates the first anniversary of its successful entry into Mars’ orbit and the gathering of a unique trove of Mars observations by the Hope Probe. One year on, the autonomous spacecraft has achieved historic milestones as part of its mandate to expand our understanding of the Martian planet.

The Hope Probe successfully reached Mars’ orbit at 19:42 on 9 February, 2021, completing one of the most complex and intricate stages of its mission, after a 493 million kilometre, 7-month journey through space.

“Tuesday 9 February 2021 has become an historic occasion for the UAE, marking a unique achievement for our young nation,” said Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency. “The Hope Probe is an inspiring success story for the youth of the UAE and the Arab world in general and comes as the culmination of a multinational effort to drive the development of our space sector, contribute to our growing space sector and bring new insights into our human understanding of our nearest planetary neighbour – Mars.”


Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said the day marks a defining moment in the history of the national space sector. “The achievements open up broad prospects for the development and prosperity of the national space sector aimed at boosting its contribution to the UAE’s GDP – as it is one of the most prominent sectors of the future economy based on innovation and knowledge.”

Eng. Omran Sharaf, Director of the Emirates Mars Mission (Hope Probe), said the Probe has registered numerous scientific achievements by observing previously-unknown phenomena. It will continue its scientific mission, which aims to provide the first comprehensive picture of the Red Planet’s climate and atmosphere, benefiting from its unique 25-degree elliptical orbit, which enables it to collect data and high-resolution images of the planet’s atmosphere every 225 hours, or 9.5 days.

170 rotations around Mars

Since its arrival, Hope Probe has circled the Red Planet over 170 times, at a rate of one cycle every 55 hours. So far, the data captured by Hope Probe has been made available in two tranches, with a commitment to continue publishing and making new batches available every three months.

The first two batches of scientific data were published in October and January respectively. The first batch, included scientific data gathered during 9 February to 22 May and totaled 110 GB. Almost 2 terabytes (TB) of data has been downloaded from the Emirates Mars Mission Science Data Centre, including 1.5TB in the form of data from the Emirates Exploration Imager (EXI) camera .

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Unprecedented scientific observations

The Hope Probe has made a number of key new observations of Martian atmospheric phenomena, including the elusive discrete aurora on Mars’ nightside, remarkable concentrations of oxygen and carbon monoxide and never-before seen images of Martian dust storms as they billow across the planetary surface.

Cloudy day on Mars:The Probe captured an image on 16 March, 2021, of particular interest to the scientific community. At the time, the spacecraft was orbiting approximately 1,366km above Mars. The image scale at center is about 148 m/pixel (note 50 km scale bar) and it covered the heavily cratered region known as “Arabia Terra” (image center is at 0.8 N latitude, 43.8 E longitude, and North is toward the top).

The western (left) half of this scene shows a dramatic occurrence of Martian water-ice clouds. Similar to cirrus clouds on Earth, these clouds form when water vapour in the Martian atmosphere freezes into tiny ice particles. The complex structure of these clouds is largely due to interactions between winds and the surface.

Foggy craters: On 15 March, 2021, the EXI camera captured multispectral images of this oblique view of the heavily cratered region known as Arabia Terra.

Images of the fully illuminated hemisphere: On 15 September 2021 the EXI camera system onboard the EMM mission obtained a set of multispectral images of the fully illuminated hemisphere of Mars.

Huge dust storms: On 5 January, 2022, the EXI camera system onboard the EMM mission obtained the half-illuminated view of Mars the sun was just setting near the center of the disk.

The Hope Probe is scheduled to continue its scientific mission to explore Mars until the middle of 2023, with the possibility of extending it for an additional Martian year (two Earth years).