NASA’s 2020 Mars Rover to Carry Weather Instrumentation
Weather that’s out of this world. That’s what NASA will be monitoring with a planned mission to Mars in 2020. According to a schematic of the new rover, provided by NASA, there will be seven weather sensors on vehicle: three wind sensors, three temperature sensors and a relative humidity sensor.
According to NASA those instruments, along with others measuring pressure and dust particles, will be part of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA) instrument package, located in the front part of the vehicle.
What’s the reason for measuring Mars’ weather? William Gerstenmaier, the associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate explains, “Mars has resources needed to help sustain life, which can reduce the amount of supplies that human missions will need to carry. Better understanding the Martian dust and weather will be valuable data for planning human Mars missions. Testing ways to extract these resources and understand the environment will help make the pioneering of Mars feasible.”
Since the 1960’s there have been more than 15 missions to observe the Red Planet, our celestial neighbor. Six of those missions have landed on the Martian surface and the latest, the Curiosity Rover, is an active participant on social media. Tweeting out photos and funny scientific quips.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond