From now on the “Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer” (MEDA) will send a daily weather report after having verified that all sensors in this instrument are working properly, has reported the Center for Astrobiology – joint center of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology and the Higher Council for Scientific Research.
Spanish researchers respoMEDA officials have highlighted the importance of having accurate meteorological data so that lNASA engineers plan daily activities on the red planet, has reported the Center for Astrobiology.
The weather station got in operation for the first time for 30 minutes on February 19, one day after Perseverance landed on Mars, and a few hours later the first data provided by that instrument were received on Earth.
“After a heart attack, descent and landing phase, the entire MEDA team anxiously awaited the first data confirming that the instrument had landed safely,” said José Antonio Rodríguez Manfredi, CAB researcher and principal investigator of this instrument.
The “analyzer” weighs 5.5 kilos and contains a set of environmental sensors to record dust levels and six atmospheric variables: wind (speed and direction), atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, air and soil temperature and radiation intensity (both from the Sun and from space).
The instrument runs every hour, and after recording and storing the data, it goes to “sleep” to save energy.
This routine is performed independently of the rover’s operations; MEDA collects data whether Perseverance is operational or not, and whether it is day or night.
Data transmitted by the station has shown that the Martian surface temperature was -20 degrees when the instrument started measuring, and the temperature dropped to -25.6 ° C in just 30 minutes.
For its part, the radiation and dust sensor showed that Jezero Crater was experiencing a cleaner atmosphere than Gale Crater around the same time, some 3,700 kilometers away.