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10. Properties of Dust Storms Affecting EVA

2005: IVA-7
2010: Not Included
Priority: N/A

Investigation: Determine the meteorological properties of dust storms at ground level that affect human occupation and EVA.

Image of a dust storm located in Mars’ northern polar region
Image of a dust storm located in Mars’ northern polar region, captured by the Mars Color Imager on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Dust storms are a frequent occurance on Mars, and quite frequently they can become very large and destructive. They would be dangerous to astronauts during Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), with the main risks due to dust affecting suits and atmospheric electrical discharges. With adequate knowledge, dust storms and their associated risks could be planned for and avoided.

Click on the expanding link below to view the wording of the 2005 version of the investigation.

2005 Version of Investigation (old version)

This section was removed from the revised document in favor of an independent investigation. Aspects of it can still be found in the 2010 investigations 1A and 3. New data that have contributed to this investigation include MER observations and orbital weather monitoring. The following list of sources is comprised of journal articles that expand on these contributions.

  • Cantor, Bruce A, Katharine M. Kanak, and Kenneth S. Edgett (2006). "Mars Orbiter Camera observations of Martian dust devils and their tracks (Spetember 1997 to January 2006) and evaluation of theoretical vortex models." Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 111, E12002, doi: 10.1029/2006JE002700.

  • Cantor, Bruce A (2007). "MOC observations of the 2001 Mars planet-encircling dust storm." Icarus, vol. 186, issue 1, p. 60-96.
  • Clancy, Todd R., Michael J. Wolff, Barbara A. Whitney, Bruce A. Cantor, Michael D. Smith, and Timothy H. McConnochie (2010). "Extension of atmospheric dust loading to high altitudes during the 2001 Mars dust storm: MGS TES limb observations." Icaurus, vol. 207, issue 1, p. 98-109.

  • Farrell, W. M., G. T. Delory, and S. K. Atreya (2006). "Martian dust storms as a possible sink of atmospheric methane." Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 33, issue 21.
  • Forward, Keith M., Daniel J. Lacks, and R. Mohan Sankaran (2009). "Particle-size dependent bipolar charging of Martian regolith simulant." Goephysical Research Letters, vol. 36, issue 13.

  • Herman, Jennifer A., and Paul M. Stella (2010). "The Mars Surface Environment and Solar Array Performance." Created under a contract with NASA.
  • Korablev, O., V. I. Moroz, E. V. Petrova, and A. V. Rodin (2003). "Optical properties of dust and the opacity of the Martian atmosphere." Advances in Space Research, vol. 35, issue 1, p. 21-30.

  • Määttänena, A.,T. Fouchet, O. Forni, F. Forget, H. Savijärvi, B. Gondet, R. Melchiorri, Y. Langevin, V. Formisano, M. Giuranna, and J.-P. Bibring (2009). "A study of the properties of a local dust storm with Mars Express OMEGA and PFS data." Icarus, vol 201, issue 2, p. 504-516.
  • Malin, Michael C., Wendy M. Calvin, Bruce A. Cantor, R. Todd Clancy, Robert M. Haberle, Philip B. James, Peter C. Thomas, Michael J. Wolff, James F. Bell III, and Steven W. Lee (2008). "Climate, weather, and north polar observations from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Color Imager." Icarus, vol. 194, issue 2, p. 501-512.

  • Matechvili, N., D. Fussen, F. Vanhellemont, C. Bingen, J. Dodion, F. Montmessin, S. Perrier, and J. L. Bertaux (2007). "Detection of Martian dust clouds by SPICAM UV nadir measurements during the October 2005 regional dust storm." Advances in Space Research vol. 40, issue 6, p. 869-880.
  • Moores, John E., Mark T. Lemmon, Peter H. Smith, Leonce Komguem, and James A. Whiteway (2010). “Atmospheric dynamics at the Phoenix landing site as seen by the Surface Stereo Imager.” Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 115, E00E08, doi: 10.1029/2009JE003409.

  • Newmann, Gregory A., David E. Smith, and Maria T. Zuber (2003). "Two Mars years of clouds detected by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter." Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 108, doi: 10.1029/2002JE001849.
  • Smith, Michael D (2009). "THEMIS observations of Mars aerosol optical depth from 2002-2008." Icarus, vol. 202, issue 2, p. 444-452.
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