NASA shares Mars rover’s first weather report

The first weather forecast from Mars is in — it will be brutally cold with the chance of a dust storm.

NASA scientists shared details of the meteorological outlook that was taken on the Red Planet by the Perseverance rover.

The rover’s Mars Environment Dynamics Analyzer system first turned on for about 30 minutes on Feb. 19, a day after making landfall on the planet’s Jezero Crater.

The weather report was sent back to earth later that day, NASA said Tuesday.

It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit when MEDA started recording, but the temperature dropped to -14 within a half hour, according to NASA.

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Radiation and dust sensors showed Jezero’s atmosphere was cleaner than the Gale Crater, where the Curiosity rover is stationed, 2,300 miles away.

The weather on Mars dropped to minus 14 degress Fahrenheit within the first half hour of MEDA's recording.
The weather on Mars dropped to minus 14 degress Fahrenheit within the first half hour of MEDA’s recording.
NASA JPL

The pressure on Mars was 718 Pascals, which is what scientists expected.

“Those were moments of great intensity and excitement. Finally, after years of work and planning, we received the first data report from MEDA. Our system was alive and sending its first meteorological data and images from the SkyCam

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.” said Jose Antonio Rodriguez-Manfredi, MEDA principal investigator.

The 12 pound META system wakes itself up every hour to record dust levels, wind, pressure, humidity, air temperature, ground temperature and radiation.

Scientists hope that the weather reports will eventually prepare humans to visit the Red Planet, likening the process to looking at the forecast before getting dressed in the morning.

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