The environmental station installed on board the explorer Perseverance of the POT, led by the Spanish Astrobiology Center, has already sent its first meteorological report from the Jezero crater on Mars.
Hereinafter the “analyzer of the environmental dynamics of Mars“(MEDA) will send a daily weather report After having verified that all the sensors of this instrument are working correctly, the Astrobiology Center – a joint center of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology and the Higher Council for Scientific Research – has reported.
The Spanish researchers responsible for MEDA have highlighted the Importance of Accurate Weather Data for NASA Engineers to Plan Daily Activities on the red planet, the Center for Astrobiology has reported.
The meteorological station was put into operation for the first time for 30 minutes on February 19, a day after Perseverance landed on Mars, and a few hours later the first data provided by that instrument was received on Earth.
“After a heart attack phase of entry, descent and landing, the entire MEDA team waited with anxiety 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 ground temperature and intensity of the radiation (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 temperature on the Martian surface was -20 degrees when the instrument began measuring, and that 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.