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HABIT (HabitAbility: Brine, Irradiation and Temperature)

HABIT (HabitAbility, Brine Irradiation and Temperature) is an instrument designed to harvest water from the Mars atmosphere, an experiment that might pave the way to future water farms on Mars.[4] The instrument will be placed onboard ExoMars 2020 surface platform to be launched in 2020.[5]

HABIT
OperatorESA/Roscosmos
ManufacturerOmnisys Instruments AB[1]
Instrument typeTechnology demonstration for IRSU
FunctionHabitability assessment, and harvest atmospheric water on Mars
Mission durationPlanned: ≥ 1 Earth year[2]
Host spacecraft
SpacecraftExoMars 2020 surface platform
OperatorESA & Roscosmos
Launch dateJuly 2020[3]
RocketProton-M/Briz-M

Instrument descriptionEdit

HABIT is composed of two major components: BOTTLE (Brine Observation Transition to Liquid Experiment) and ENVPACK (Environmental Package). BOTTLE contains six containers protected by HEPA filters, filled with salts that will collect atmospheric water through deliquescence. Sensors in each container will measure hydration and a state in which brine formed. Salts in the instrument can be dehydrated to allow indefinite operations of the instrument.

ENVPACK will contain instruments measuring ultraviolet irradiance, ground temperature, and a temperature of the atmosphere in three different directions. Most of the ENVPACK instruments were already used in Rover Environmental Monitoring Station of the NASA's Curiosity rover.[6] The Principal Investigator of HABIT is Javier Martin-Torres, from the Luleå University of Technology in Luleå, Sweden.

Scientific objectivesEdit

The objectives of HABIT are:[5][7]

  • to investigate (and quantify) the habitability of the landing site in terms of availability of water, ultraviolet radiation, and temperature ranges
  • to investigate the atmosphere/regolith water interchange, the subsurface hydration, as well as the ozone, water and dust atmospheric cycle, and the convective activity of the boundary layer
  • to demonstrate an in situ resource utilization technology for future Mars exploration

The HABIT instrument will use salts to absorb 5 millilitres of water from the atmosphere each day, and can hold 25 mL in total. If the process works as expected, the technology could be scaled up to provide water for future crewed missions.[8]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.omnisys.se/omnisys-to-deliver-instrument-for-the-next-mars-expedition/
  2. ^ "Exomars 2018 surface platform". European Space Agency. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  3. ^ "N° 11–2016: Second ExoMars mission moves to next launch opportunity in 2020" (Press release). ESA. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Mars moisture-farming mission gets approval for 2018 launch". New Scientist. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Swedish Mars instrument selected by ESA". Luleå University of Technology. 2 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Instrument – Atmospheric Science Group". Luleå University of Technology. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  7. ^ "ExoMars 2018 surface platform". European Space Agency (ESA). 2 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Mars moisture-farming mission gets approval for 2018 launch". New Scientist. December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.