We have already reported that the Nadezhda interplanetary station, launched in July last year, reached Mars orbit a few days ago, making the UAE the first Arab country with a scientific presence on this planet. The mission has now submitted its first photograph of Mars.
This first image will be followed by many other photographs and data from Mars. The Nadezhda was launched into a deep orbit to study the weather and climatic conditions of the Red Planet. The first photograph was taken by the Nadezhda EXI instrument from an altitude of 24,700 km (15,350 mi) above the surface of Mars at 20:36 GMT on Wednesday, that is, one day after arriving in orbit of the Red Planet.
The North Pole of Mars is in the upper left corner of the image. In the very center, at the intersection of day and night, there is an extinct volcano Olympus – the largest in the solar system (height – 26 km from the base, diameter – about 540 km). Also, the photo clearly shows three extinct volcanoes located in a row – Mount Askriyskaya, Mount Peacock and Mount Arsia. Finally, to the east are the partially cloudy Mariner Valley, a giant system of Martian canyons.
“The transmission of the first image of Mars with the Nadezhda probe is a defining moment in our history and marks the accession of the UAE to the leading countries involved in space exploration. – stated in the mission message on Twitter… – We hope that this mission will lead to new discoveries about Mars that will benefit humanity. “
Now “Nadezhda” is moving in an initial elliptical orbit around Mars, which approaches the planet at a distance of up to 1000 km and moves away by almost 50,000 km. Over the next few weeks, the orbit will be 55 hours long with a size of 22,000 km by 43,000 km and a tilt of about 25 degrees to the equator. It is from this height that the apparatus will conduct research. One of the tasks is to study the process of leakage into space of neutral atoms of hydrogen and oxygen – the remnants of the once rich reserves of water on Mars. This will expand the understanding of how a previously warm and humid planet turned into a cold, dusty and parched world.
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