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First weather forecast from Jezero crater on Mars received

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NASA’s US Aeronautics and Space Administration has published the “first weather forecast” from the Jezero crater on Mars.

The Perseverance rover has, among other equipment, wind sensors, which are shown in the illustrations. They are part of the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) kit. According to the NASA report, the agency’s engineers are using the weather data to draw up plans for the training of astronauts.

The MEDA system aboard the rover first turned on for 30 minutes on February 19, about a day after Perseverance landed on the Red Planet. When scientists received the first MEDA data on Earth, they made their first weather forecast from Jezero Crater on Mars.

The data showed that when the system started recording, the temperature was just below minus 20 degrees Celsius at the surface, and that temperature dropped to minus 25.6 degrees Celsius within 30 minutes.

A MEDA radiation and dust sensor has shown that Jezero has a cleaner atmosphere than Gale Crater, 3,700 km away, according to reports from the environmental monitoring station aboard the Curiosity rover. Pressure sensors have shown that the pressure on Mars is 718 Pascals.

Jose Antonio Rodriguez-Manfredi, Principal Investigator for MEDA at the Astrobiology Center of the National Institute of Aerospace Engineering in Madrid, noted:

After a difficult descent and landing phase, the MEDA team was looking forward to the first data that would confirm that the complex had landed safely. It was a very exciting moment. Finally, after many years of work and planning, we received the first data report from MEDA. The system was alive and sent the first meteorological data and images from the SkyCam camera.

MEDA weighs about 5.5 kg. The system contains a set of sensors for determining dust levels and six atmospheric parameters – wind (speed and direction), pressure, relative humidity, air temperature, surface temperature and radiation from the Sun and space. The system wakes up from sleep mode every hour, and after recording and saving data, it goes into sleep mode, regardless of the operation of the rover, data is recorded both during the day and at night.

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