MARS 2020 Mission successfully arrives on Mars with UAH technology on board

Lunes, 01 marzo 2021
MARS 2020 Mission successfully arrives on Mars, with UAH technology on board Perseverance Mars Rover's First Images © NASA

NASA's Perseverance rover landed last night on Martian soil, in the Jezero crater, after six months of travel. Launched last July from Cape Canaveral (Florida), the MARS 2020 mission will search Mars for evidence of past microbial life.

Perseverance' is carrying seven different instruments specially designed to conduct unprecedented scientific experiments on the soil of the red planet. One of them, the MEDA instrument, has the participation of the University of Alcalá, among other institutions and companies in the aerospace industry, through Professor Miguel Ramos, Professor of Applied Physics at the UAH and co-investigator of the project.

The UAH contribution is the TIRS sensor (Thermal Infrared Sensor), which is designed to measure the net radiation (the balance of shortwave and longwave radiation), the temperature at the surface of the ground and air on Mars, the relative humidity of the atmosphere and to define the pressure variations on the Mars surface.

MEDA is a meteorological station designed and built entirely in Spain, a project led by the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA), to search for signs of past life, as well as the extraction of samples of Martian rocks and soil for possible subsequent transport, as part of another mission, to our planet. Once on Earth, scientists will analyze the samples to assess the possibility of establishing a permanent settlement on the red planet.

It is an improved and expanded version of the one currently taking measures aboard the rover 'Curiosity', which reached the surface of Mars in 2012 and since then continues to carry out planetary research work. There, it will make meteorological measurements, including radiation, wind speed and direction, temperature and humidity, to give an estimate of the amount and size of dust particles in the atmosphere of Mars.

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