Engineers at NASA have received the first weather report from Mars’ Jezero Crater, where the agency’s Perseverance rover landed in February.
Rover’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) system has sent data on atmospheric conditions that will be used to inform future efforts.
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When measurements were received, the rover’s team determined that the surface temperature on the red planet was just below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit when MEDA’s system began recording on February 19, a day after landing.
This temperature dropped to minus 1
In addition, the MEDA radiation and dust sensor showed that the crater experienced a clearer atmosphere than the Martian Gale Crater about 2,300 miles away.
They compared the reading using reports from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover, which landed inside the Gale Crater in November 2011.
MEDA pressure sensors also noted that the pressure on Mar was within a predictable range of 718 Pascal.
While NASA has a relative understanding of the Martian climate, receiving data from InSight Lander’s temperature and wind sensors (TWINS) will also help predict dust storms and dust lifting will help with future exploration.
Over the next year, MEDA will provide NASA with readings of solar radiation intensity, cloud formations and winds, dust cycles and heat currents and temperature cycles.
MEDA, which contains environmental sensors, wakes up every hour to record more – regardless of endurance operations.
It is able to detect the temperature at three atmospheric heights and also records the radiation budget near the surface.
“We are very excited to see MEDA work well,” said Manuel de la Torre Juárez, MDA’s Deputy Chief Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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“MEDA’s reports will provide a better picture of the environment near the surface. Data from MEDA and other instrument experiments will reveal more pieces of the riddles on Mars and help prepare for human exploration. We hope its data will help make our design stronger our missions safer, ”he added.
In the coming days, NASA will use MEDA to determine the best atmospheric flight conditions for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.
Ingenuity is scheduled to take off on April 11 after surviving the first of its cool Mars nights.