ABSTRACT: We present evidence that NASA is seriously understating Martian air pressure. Our 8-year study critiques 1,785 Sols (5 terrestrial years, over 2.65 Martian years) of highly problematic MSL Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REM) weather data, and offers an in depth audit of over 8,311 hourly Viking 1 and 2 weather reports. We discuss analysis of technical papers, NASA documents, and personal interviews of transducer designers. We troubleshoot pressures based on radio occultation/spectroscopy, and the previously accepted small pressure ranges that could be measured by Viking 1 and 2 (18 mbar), Pathfinder and Phoenix (12 mbar), and MSL (11.5 mbar – altered to 14 mbar in 2017). For MSL there were several pressures published at or slightly above the advertised upper range of the pressure sensor (sols 370, 1,160, 1,161, and 1301) as well as the period between August 30 and September 5, 2012 when pressures initially published were from 737 mbar to 747 mbar – two orders of magnitude high – only to be retracted. We challenged them all and NASA revised them down, however 8 years into this audit it has come to our attention that of two pressure sensors ordered by NASA for Mars Pathfinder, one of them (Tavis Dash No. 1) could in fact measure up to 1,034 mbar; and for the MSL according to an Abstract to the American Geophysical Union for the Fall 2012 meeting, The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) states of their MSL (and Phoenix) Vaisala transducers, “The pressure device measurement range is 0 – 1025 hPa in temperature range of -45°C – 55°C, but its calibration is optimized for the Martian pressure range of 4 – 12 hPa..” So while we originally thought that of the five landers on Mars that had meteorological suites, none of them could measure Earth-like pressures, in fact, assuming that the higher pressure sensor Pathfinder Tavis Dash 1 (0-15 PSIA/1,034 mbar) was sent rather than Tavis Dash 2 (0-0.174 PSIA/12 mbar), three landers were actually equipped to get the job done, but the public was pretty much kept in the dark about it. Why they have done so is currently a matter of speculation that is beyond the basic thrust of this report, but we demonstrate that REMS weather data was regularly revised after they studied critiques in working versions of this report and on our websites at http://marscorrect.com and http://davidaroffman.com.
As for weather anomalies that support our contentions we note that Vikings and MSL showed consistent timing of daily pressure spikes. We link this to how gas pressure in a sealed container would vary with Absolute temperature, to heating by radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), and to dust clots at air access tubes and dust filters. Pathfinder, Phoenix and MSL wind measurement failures are disclosed. Phoenix and MSL pressure transducer design problems are highlighted with respect to confusion about dust filter location, and lack of information about nearby heat sources due to International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). NASA could not replicate dust devils at 10 mbar. Rapidly filled MER Spirit tracks required wind speeds of 80 mph at the assumed low pressures. These winds were never recorded on Mars. Nor could NASA explain drifting Barchan sand dunes. Based on the above and dust devils on Arsia Mons to altitudes of 17 km above areoid (Martian equivalent of sea level), spiral storms with 10 km eye-walls above Arsia Mons, dust storm opacity, snow at Phoenix, excessive aero braking, liquid water running on the surface in numerous locations at Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) and stratus clouds 13 km above areoid, we argue for an average pressure at areoid of ~511 mbar rather than the accepted 6.1 mbar. This pressure grows to 1,050 mbar in the Hellas Basin.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Texas A&M
Dust Devils in Gusev Crater. This movie clip shows several dust devils moving.
The question that began an 8-year study: How can Martian dust devils shown above at Gusev Crater form if pressure is under 10 millibars (average pressure on Earth is 1,013.25 millibars)? The film clip covers 12 minutes 17 seconds of what was seen at Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on its 543rd day on Mars (July 13, 2005).
PURPOSE OF MARSCORRECT RESEARCH
The August, 2012 landing of MSL Curiosity on Mars was brilliant. See it here. However, our research group named Mars Correct exists to prove that the U.S. Government espouses deeply flawed versions of Martian meteorology. While the greatest errors are with air pressure, NASA has published incorrect wind information, wrong temperatures, flawed relativity humidity reports, and incorrect ultraviolet radiation levels and even wrong sunrise and sunset times. We can say this because after NASA read our proofs, it removed all wind reports, adapted our day length calculations, and removed much of the rest of their mistaken data from their web sites. However, their fundamental error remains their claim that the average pressure on Mars is 6.1 millibars, which is close to a vacuum. The weather that we see occurring, even the blue color of the Martian sky that they would not let us see for 36 years, are all impossible with such a low pressure. We believe that the absurdly low pressure that they advance is proof of a political and/or religious agenda and cover-up that requires maintenance of the status quo. However, this site doesn’t delve into the full nature of that charge, although one article explores it a bit and it is briefly discussed in the Afterword of our Basic Report. Rather, this web site’s focus is just with proving the NASA weather data wrong. Our May 21, 2017 report is found at this link: MARS CORRECT: CRITIQUE OF ALL NASA MARS WEATHER DATA. The May 12, 2017 PowerPoint summary of the Report may be found at Mars Correct? Mars is wet.