An instrument package developed at Spain’s Centro de Astrobiologia will be part of the rover that NASA plans to send to Mars in 2020.
The Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer, or MEDA, was selected from among roughly 60 proposals for a tool to collect meteorological data on the red planet, Spain’s CSIC scientific research council said.
MEDA comprises “sensors that will provide measurements of temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity and dust size and shape,” according to a NASA statement.
The data will be used to provide a clearer picture of day/night and seasonal cycles.
The Mars 2020 mission is conceived as a follow-up to the work of the rover Curiosity, which has been exploring the surface of the red planet since 2012, but with a greater emphasis on searching for signs that Mars once supported life.
The international team behind the MEDA is led by Jose Antonio Rodriguez Manfredi and the Centro de Astrobiologia, which is jointly sponsored by the CSIC and the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial.