In a televised event on Thursday, NASA announced its lineup of instruments to be developed for the Mars 2020 Rover on Thursday, and a Martian-quality weather station is among the seven proposals chosen for the mission.
The instrument is called the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyser (MEDA), and contains sensors for measuring temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, and dust particles.
According to William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, weather instruments will help NASA achieve the amazing. “Better understanding the Martian dust and weather will be valuable data for planning human Mars missions,” says Gerstenmaier. “Testing ways to extract these resources and understand the environment will help make the pioneering of Mars feasible.”
In addition to the MEDA instrument, the rover will also be equipped with an exploratory technology that hopes to produce breathable oxygen from the carbon dioxide in Mars’ atmosphere. It will also explore the possibility of making rocket fuel from the resources found on Mars. “This technology demonstration will pave the way for more affordable human missions to Mars where oxygen is needed for life support and rocket propulsion,” said James Reuther, deputy associate administrator for programs for the Space Technology Mission Directorate.