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Finnish technology lands on Mars

The Mars science rover Curiosity, which landed on the red planet on Monday morning, carries equipment designed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).

Yksi ensimmäisistä Curiosity-mönkijän Marsista lähettämistä valokuvista.
Curiosity looks at its own shadow. Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

The FMI supplied NASA's extraterrestrial explorer with pressure and humidity sensors, which are some of the instruments comprising the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station. They will be used to examine the atmosphere on Mars.

According to the FMI, the main advantage of the sensors, called REMS-P and REMS-H, is their accuracy combined with their small size—they weigh just 35 and 15 grams respectively.

The sensors will collect information about pressure and humidity in the Mars atmosphere for one Martian year, or the entire duration of Curiosity’s stay on the planet.

NASA landed the 2.5-billion-dollar rover on the surface of Mars in a tightly controlled operation that had zero margin for error.  

Minutes later, Curiosity beamed back the first pictures from inside the landing crater— giving earthlings the first glimpse of a touchdown on another world.

The rover is seeking evidence that the red planet once hosted ingredients for life.

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