UAE: Dh10,000 award for the winner of the Explore Mars student competition


On Sunday, the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) team announced the start of the fifth round of its Explore Mars Competition.

For the first time, students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will have the chance to explore Mars using scientific data from EMM’s Science Data Centre.

“The competition allows students to analyze the science data collected by the Hope Probe, either individually or in teams of up to three persons,” according to an EMM statement.

To be eligible, students must create an A1-format scientific poster, which is a typical way of presenting scientific findings at international scientific meetings and events. According to the press release, the posters will be judged by a panel and evaluated based on their scientific substance and insight, design, and presentation.

From the entries collected, three winners will be chosen, each receiving a prize of Dh10,000, Dh7,000, and Dh5,000. Students can register for the tournament until Saturday, November 20. Students can contact [email protected] for competition guidelines and registration.

“This is the first time in the five years we’ve held the Explore Mars competition that we’ve been able to offer students the chance to analyze live data from our own instruments,” said Omran Sharaf, project director of the Emirates Mars Mission at MBRSC. “We’re particularly excited to see what insights and discoveries they manage to pull together.”

“Data from Hope’s first mission phase, including ground-breaking observations of Mars’ distinct aurora and our findings of extremely high amounts of atmospheric oxygen and carbon monoxide, is currently hosted by the EMM Science Data Centre,” he added.

Engineer Hessa Al Matrooshi, the science lead for the Emirates Mars Mission, said, “The launch of the fifth edition of the Explore Mars competition exemplifies our dedication to educating, inspiring, and informing the next generation of talent. We’re pleased to use this contest to get kids interested in using the data as a launchpad to inspire and encourage them to pursue careers in space research after sharing the first set of data collected by Hope Probe with the scientific community.”

The Emirates Mars Mission is investigating the interaction between the upper and lower layers of the Martian atmosphere, providing the international scientific community with a comprehensive perspective of the Martian atmosphere at various times of the day and seasons.

The Hope Probe is equipped with three cutting-edge instruments:

The Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) is a digital camera that will take high-resolution photographs of Mars as well as measure water ice and ozone in the lower atmosphere using ultraviolet (UV) bands.

The Emirates Mars InfraRed Spectrometer (EMIRS) will monitor the global distribution of dust, ice clouds, and water vapor in Mars’ lower atmosphere.

The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will monitor oxygen and carbon monoxide in the thermosphere, as well as hydrogen and oxygen variations in the upper atmosphere.

Data from these instruments is uploaded to the EMM Science Data Centre every three months and made freely available to scientists, researchers, and fans throughout the world.

The Hope Probe is in its targeted 20,000–43,000 km elliptical research orbit, which has a 25-degree inclination to Mars. During its one Martian year (two Earth years) mission to monitor Mar’s atmospheric dynamics, it will be able to complete one circle of the planet every 55 hours and collect a full planetary data sample every nine days.

The historic trip of the Hope Probe to Mars takes place during the United Arab Emirates’ Golden Jubilee year.