U of A device to measure wind on Mars

May 27, 2008

University of Alberta scientist Carlos Lange is thrilled that an instrument he invented, a wind sensor called the Telltale, has successfully landed on Mars.

This is the first time Canadians have been involved with an interplanetary mission and Lange, a mechanical engineering professor, spent four years in preparation for this mission. His work including helping to create the Telltale, which is able to measure winds in the polar region of Mars.

Mars is typically windy and learning more about this aspect of the planet’s climate will help scientists understand the cycle of water on the planet and subsequently identify possible zones that could sustain life.

“For all of us, this interplanetary lander mission is an extraordinary experience,” said Lange.

The concept of the Telltale was created at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and the instrument was constructed in Denmark. The device is a small piece of the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft that landed successfully on Mars on Sunday, May 25.

The lander, a joint mission between NASA, the University of Arizona and the Canadian Space Agency, launched from Florida on August 4, 2007.

Source: University of Alberta

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