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Schiaparelli Mars Lander Crash, Conclusions, Recommendations, and Acknowledgements. This page updated on 3/2/2021.


       On May 18, 2017 ESA published its ExoMars 2016 - Schiaparelli Anomaly Inquiry. While our research was not directly cited, we maintain a log of significant IP addresses and readers who access this Report and our Mars-related websites. One of the most frequent readers traces to the Thales Alenia Space Italia S.p.A. in Milan, Italy. They built the Schiaparelli lander. In reading through the Inquiry the following sections were of particular note:

Inquiry paragraph High angular rate due to natural phenomenon.  

With respect to this branch of the failure tree, it has to be noted that hypersonic parachute deployment is a very complex and dynamic phenomenon affected by several uncertainties (winds, wake, etc.) and therefore very difficult to predict (and model).

The following aspects, on which the investigation has focused, have been identified as potentially contributing to the high angular rates at parachute deployment.

  1. Mach number different than estimated, potentially due to
  2. Atmospheric dispersion density/ temperature)
  3. Propagation error from accelerometers into position and velocity

We further note:

Each of the potential contributors to high angular rates have been analyzed. The main contributors appears to be:

2.a. Presence of Wind/Gust

       Of course, with respect to atmospheric density we argue for air pressure at areoid that is about 85 times higher than NASA asserts. As for wind/gusts, if NASA was right about a low atmospheric density and pressure, winds aloft would probably be insufficient to cause the loss of the lander. ESA is likely right about correcting the problem with the IMU (Inertial Momentum Unit). Perhaps that will be enough to overcome the density problem, but we challenge the wisdom of their statement that ExoMars 2020 will proceed with models of Atmosphere and Winds as per 2016. However, it is important to understand that a full blown rejection of NASA and JPL without an in situ ESA lander measuring pressures is problematic. ESA still depends upon NASA/JPL experience for advice on a number of space-related matters.  If the IMU is fixed it should not, as apparently happened in 2016, go into something akin to a nervous breakdown when the parachute is deployed and runs into much greater atmospheric density than expected.  The specific final sequence of events in this “nervous breakdown” are spelled out as follows in ESA’s Inquiry:

f) Parachute deployment time (time from mortar firing to peak load factor) was circa 1 sec (in line with the predictions).

- The parachute was deployed, and the parachute inflation triggered some oscillations of Schiaparelli at a frequency of approximately 2.5 Hz.

- About 0.2 sec after the peak load of the parachute inflation, the IMU measured a pitch angular rate (angular rate around Z-EDM axis) larger than expected.

- The IMU raised a saturation flag,

- During the period the IMU saturation flag was set, the GNC Software integrated an angular rate assumed to be equal to the saturation threshold rate. The integration of this constant angular rate, during which the EDM was in reality oscillating, led to an error in the GNC estimated attitude of the EDM of about 165 degrees. This would correspond to an EDM nearly turned downside up with the front shield side pointing to quasi-zenith.

- After the parachute inflation, the oscillatory motion of Schiaparelli under its parachute was mostly damped and Schiaparelli was descending at a nominal descent rate, with very small oscillations (< 3 deg) around pitch and yaw axis.

- After parachute inflation the angular acceleration around the spin axis changed again

g) The Front Shield was jettisoned as planned 40s after parachute deployment (timer based command) at 14:46:03

h) The RDA (Radar Doppler Altimeter) was switched on at 14:46:19 (15s after Front Shield separation acknowledgment) and provided coherent slant ranges, without any indication of anomalies;

- Once the RDA is on, RIL (Radar in the Loop) mode, “consistency checks” between IMU and RDA measurements are performed. The parameters checked are: delta velocity and delta altitude. The altitude is obtained using the GNC estimated attitude to project the RDA slant ranges on the vertical.

- Because of the error in the estimated attitude that occurred at parachute inflation, the GNC Software projected the RDA range measurements with an erroneous off-vertical angle and deduced a negative altitude (cosines of angles > 90 degrees are negative). There was no check on board of the plausibility of this altitude calculation

i) Consequently the “consistency check” failed for more than 5 sec. after which the RDA was forced anyway into the loop based on the logic that landing was impossible without the RDA. The correctness of the other contributor to the altitude estimation, i.e. the attitude estimate, was not put in question. The RDA was put in the loop (event signaled by RIL time-out flag at 14:46:46).

- The GNC (Guidance Navigation and Control) mode entered was TERMINAL DESCENT where the altitude is scrutinized to release the Back-Shell and parachute if the altitude is below an on board calculated limit.

- Because of the incorrect attitude estimation leading to an estimated negative altitude, the GNC Software validated the conditions for separating the back-shell and parachute

j) Back-shell separation at 14:46:49.

k) Switch-on of the Reaction Control System (RCS).

- First RCS thruster operation was at 14:46:51 (no backshell avoidance maneuver)

l) Switch-off of the RCS 3 seconds later at 14:46:54.

- The criterion for the RCS switch-off was based on the estimation of the EDM (Entry Demonstrator Module) energy (as combination of the altitude and vertical velocity) being lower than a pre-set threshold. Since the estimation of the altitude was negative and very big, the negative potential energy was much higher than the positive kinetic energy (square of the velocity) and this criterion was immediately satisfied the RCS was commanded off as soon as allowed by the thruster modulation logic. This occurred just 3 seconds after the RCS switch on command when the capsule was at an altitude of about 3.7 km, leading to a free fall of Schiaparelli and to the impact on Mars surface about 34 seconds later.

m) The Touch Down occurred at 14:47:28 corresponding to the crash of the surface platform on the surface of Mars at an estimated velocity of ≈150 m/s. The expected landing time was 14:48:05 (some 37s later).

We summarize major events of the Schiaparelli Entry Descent and Land (crash) and times on Table 27 below:










ENTRY TIME (2017 report)


Event and time to event based on ESA prediction 2016  

Expected Clock time based on 2016 ESA prediction +

14:42:22 entry

Actual time to event in 2017

Clock time of event in 2017

Diversion from planned time



Expected parachute deployment



Expected parachute deployment clock time 14:45:43

Observed time to chute deployment



Actual clock time of chute deployment


20 seconds early





IMU measures pitch rate greater than expected. IMU raises a saturation flag.










radar on




radar on










radar in the loop





chute jettison with back-shell


chute jettison with back-shell





back-shell separation


back-shell off

55 seconds early






first thruster fires


54 seconds early






thruster shuts down 3.7 km high   14:46:54

80 seconds early








ENTRY TIME (2017 report)


Event and time to event based on ESA prediction 2016  

Expected Clock time based on 2016 ESA prediction +

14:42:22 entry

Actual time to event in 2017

Clock time of event in 2017

Diversion from planned time

46 seconds early (2016 prediction)

37 seconds

Early (2017)



Landing +5:52 per 2016 ESA diagram

14:48:14 (2016 prediction) 14:48:05

+5:06 after entry

crash 14:47:28

46 seconds early (2016 prediction) 37 seconds Early (2017)


At some point, hopefully in 2022, ESA will succeed. But here we must caution NASA.  There is an old cliché:’

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

       NASA has fooled ESA once. But ESA is on to the problem and should not be fooled again. If NASA announces that they have come to understand that air pressure is much higher than they previously announced, there may be room for plausible deniability with respect to issues related to liability.

       Whether NASA blames mistakes on unit conversion, or failure to allow for dust filter replacement on transducers, or inability to provide critical design information with respect to heat sources near the Vaisala pressure sensor due to ITAR, NASA can still preserve its respect if they publically abandon their loyalty to a 6.1 mbar pressure at areoid in time to ensure a successful ExoMars 2022 mission.   But if that lander or the Chinese Tianwen-1 lander in 2021 safely arrive on the Martian surface and reveal ongoing fraud on a massive basis, the results for NASA and U.S. Government credibility will be catastrophic. 

17.1 ESA gets smarter - Raises ExoMars orbit due to excessive density of Mars’s atmosphere.

See Figure 97. This is similar to what was seen with the Mars Global Surveyor and also with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Both of these incidents were discussed earlier in Section 10 of this report. With the loss of the Schiaparelli lander and now this public ESA statement about excessive density of Martian air, the question remains as to when NASA will reach and publish the same common sense conclusion but we would be surprised to be it occur as a result of observations made by the Perseverance because again it apparently carries a pressure sensor that can only measure up to 11.5 mbar. In the Chinese Tianwen-1 the sensor can measure up to 20 mbar. If NASA is close to being right about air pressure on Mars, the Chinese sensor will be better for measure pressure increases during major global or regional dust storms. But if my son and I are right about average pressure being about 511 mbar, neither the U.S. nor Chinese sensor will be good for anything other than continuing disinformation.




Figure 97– On October 19, 2017 ESA reported that ExoMars had to raise its orbit. The move was mandated by “excessive density of Mars’ atmosphere.” We received notice of this from our partner Marco de Marco.

18. CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS. There were problems with just about all aspects of NASA Martian weather data and instruments.

18.1 Dust devils. The enigma of dust devils on a planet with extremely low air pressure first led to this investigation into whether or not the public was being given correct data about Mars. At the beginning of this study in September, 2009 it was found that dust devils matched terrestrial dust devils in every respect except absolute and relative pressure excursions.

18.2 Accuracy of instrument descriptions.       In fact, I asked an astronomy professor to obtain weather data for the Phoenix lander from the Planetary Data System (PDS). He did, and sent us an enormous file. A sample of it is posted at But, more than 5 years after he obtained it for us, the data remains problematic because there are four temperature columns with data for 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 meter elevations. The problem is that there were only three temperature sensors on Phoenix, with locations at 0.25, 0.5 and 1 meter above the lander (Taylor et al 2008).69 Further, the 2 meter temperatures (on a daily cyclic basis) were found to be a good bit higher than the 1.5 meter readings. For example, at the first sample data line on the link above temperatures are 242.8775K at 0.5 m, 238.7638K at 1 m, 239.8803 at 1.5 m and then up to 257.6K at 2 m, an increase of  17.7197K (about 31.9 degrees Fahrenheit) in a half meter (19.685 inches). The professor was not able to procure clarification from NASA.

       Further as noted by Nathan Mariels in Section 15.6.4., when the format of the data is changed some older data gets converted wrong if the software thinks it's all in the new format.”

18.3 Data management. At a minimum, poor data management leads to false information being taught in our science classrooms, and it serves as a false basis for public support of tax-funded space programs. Worse, it leads to distrust of our Government and speculation about why our Government appears to be covering up the truth about Mars.

18.4. The crash of the ExoMars 2016. Traditional wisdom is that we could not have had so many successes on Mars if we did not understand the pressure there.  But there were many failures right up through and including ExoMars 2016, some unexplained, and only six successful landers that attempted to measure in situ pressure, all with questionable dust filter capabilities and other design problems. Based on two years of almost daily visits for months by Thales-Alena Space Italy (which designed the billion-dollar Schiaparelli lander for ExoMars 2016) to an article found at, it seems likely that they know their failure was at least in part due to trusting in NASA’s weather data rather than our analysis of their data, which they had accessed numerous times before the failure. 

18.5. During Viking 1 and 2 Year 1, pressures varied closely with Gay-Lussac/ Amonton’s Law-based predictions for a gas trapped in a closed container.  This may imply that the Tavis transducers employed measured the pressure of air caught behind dust clots rather than ambient air pressure outside the lander. In previous editions of this report we wrote that the same was true for Phoenix and for MSL. Phoenix had no RTG heater, but it did have battery operated heaters. One of them operated the meteorological suite of instruments. It was thought that electronics that operate these instruments should generate enough heat on their own to keep most of them running. This sounds like there was no need to pump heat into the pressure transducer. If so, there may indeed have been slow cooling of the air trapped behind the clogged dust filter that, combined with a slowly dying battery and no timed heat pump, led to no pressure spikes seen like those of Vikings and MSL. Thus the pressure recorded simply went down at a steady rate as was shown earlier in Figure 12A (Section 2.4). However, now that we are aware that the Vaisala sensor can measure more pressure than was previously known, the problem may lie elsewhere. 

         Perhaps conveniently, Phoenix pressure readings (which appear to closely follow the pressure readings of Viking 2 and MSL shown on Figure 21B in Section 4) were cut off at Ls 151.5º of the Martian orbit. This is about when Viking 1, Viking 2 and MSL all recorded minimum pressure. Ls 149.088º was the average Ls of their minimum pressure (see Table 7 for Section 4.1). For Pathfinder the battery was used to heat the probe's electronics to slightly above the expected nighttime temperatures on Mars.95  Had the battery not been turned off then we might have soon seen the expected rise in pressure if there was reason for Phoenix to continue following the VL-2 curve.

18.6 Data digitization Issues and stuck pressure readings. In Section 2.6.1 we saw that accuracy of the Viking pressure readings was questionable where pressure changes asserted were under .08 mbar because surface pressure measurements were limited by digitization to ≈ 0.088 mbar.  Data was especially suspicious where pressures remained stuck for days even though huge hourly temperature changes were being recorded (see Annex C at The longest such period was between sols 700.5 and 706.46, essentially six full Martian days when the temperature varied from -23.41° C to -83.17° C, a difference of 59.18°C (106.524°F). Pressures that are stuck over such wide variations of temperature almost certainly mean that the pressure sensors were not functioning correctly. Nathan Mariels informed us that normally when a sensor encounters a problem, it will continue to report the last pressure it had. However, when pressures were not stuck, they tended to vary strongly with what would be expected of gas trapped behind a dust clot with the gas being subjected to heating by the RTG.

18.7. Pressure readings affected by heat generating internal events. As noted in Section 2.6.2, highly consistent pressure increases in the mornings at 0730, afternoon at 1630 and nights at 2330 Local True Solar Time at Vikings 1 and 2 suggest that the pressure sensors were reacting to the RTG heaters or scheduled internal events that generated heat rather than ambient pressures.  A similar pattern was seen for limited MSL data that was released.

18.8 Inconsistent reports about the maximum pressures measurements possible with FMI transducers.  Consistent with past actions and as we predicted, the 1,177 Pa, 1,200 Pa and 1154 Pa pressures for sols 1,160 and 1,161 and 1301 were revised down by JPL (to 899, 898 and 752 Pa).  They were way above the curve (and above the previously announced 1150 Pa maximum pressure rating of the pressure sensor on MSL) but still too low to explain the weather. However, the 1,200 hPa pressure exactly matches the “optimized” pressure range referred to in the FMI abstract to the American Geophysical Union in 2012. Perhaps the FMI dropped the reported pressure for Sol 1,161 to 898 Pa (8.98 mbar) lest attention be brought on the full range of 1 to 1,025 hPa/mbar on MSL – but this is only speculation.

18.9. Timing of pressure spikes. We made a check in Annex E (, of what the percent differences were between measured and predicted pressures provided for each time-bin (25 per Martian day/sol between Viking 1 sols 200 and 350). It showed that the percent differences for the period of greatest interest (time-bins 0.3 and 0.34) was only 2.67%. 

  • Annex F and how the time of day affects the accuracy of pressure predictions.

       Annex F ( demonstrates that there was great repeatability in the times each Martian day for when the percent difference between measured and predicted pressures was under 2%.  The data indicates that when heaters were expected to come on, pressure predictions based on Gay-Lussac/Amonton’s Law for a gas being heated in a confined space (behind the dust clots) were quite accurate.  But when the heaters were likely to be off, the accuracy of Gay-Lussac/Amonton’s Law prediction fell.  How much it fell was likely related to how effective insulation was on the Vikings.

18.11. Mariner Pressure Results. Mariner 4, 6, and 7 only provided radio occultation points for six places on Mars. NASA History Office document SP-4212 On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958-1978 reported occultation pressures for Mariner 6 and 7 (Mariner 69's) at the surface of Mars that ranged from 4 to 20 mbar, and it implied 80 mbar for the Mariner 4 estimate.96

Landing Pressure Capabilities. No Viking ever included instruments that could measure pressures over 18 mbar, Phoenix could supposedly not measure over 12 mbar. However, now that we have seen the 1 to 1,025 maximum pressure for MSL, we must point out that apparently identical Vaisala sensors were delivered to NASA. Earlier we thought that Phoenix and Vaisala sensors were delivered to NASA at the same time, but when we went to check this fact on July 24, 2017 it seemed to vanish. The sensors for both probes look identical. They are shown on Figure 11A. But the weights seem a bit different. 

 18.13. Deliberate use of flawed sensors.  On September 30, 2008 ( FMI wrote that, “FMI's pressure and humidity sensors for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission were delivered in Summer 2008. The launch towards equatorial regions of Mars is planned for 2011, followed by ESA's Exomars mission a few years later, also with atmospheric sensors from FMI aboard.” The Phoenix landed on Mars on May 25, 2008. Therefore if the MSL sensor was indeed delivered to NASA in the summer of 2008, the Phoenix version of the sensor was already on Mars. The Schiaparelli lander was likely carrying a flawed Vaisala sensor, but we’ll never know what it would have shown in terms of pressure. However ESA should be extremely careful before accepting another FMI-built transducer.

            When, in 2013, I called Guy Webster at JPL to tell him that constant winds at Gale Crater, Mars of 7.2 km from the east for nine months were impossible, he immediately told me that he knew these REMS reports were wrong and that the wind sensor broke on landing. The next day he deleted the wind data – and NASA also took down impossible sunrise and sunset times, replacing them with times based on David’s calculations. Likewise if NASA knows their pressure instruments are faulty they should announce this fact before any foreign government can prove them wrong in a way that suggests criminal behavior. They can stay ahead of the problem if they act now, but not if, via a successful landing, China or ESA/Roscosmos shows how wrong they are.

       In earlier versions of this report we wrote that MPF was restricted to 10 mbar on the surface, and MSL was held to 11.5 mbar. The mean pressure recorded for MSL sol 370 was 11.49 mbar (at least until we challenged it and JPL revised it). The original pressure indicates that for much or most of that day the actual pressure was almost certainly above the maximum pressure that the Vaisala pressure transducer could measure. The REMS Team published 1,177 Pa and 1,200 Pa pressures for sols 1,160 and 1,161, but after over two months of our questioning these pressures on our web sites, JPL backed off and revised the pressures to 899 and 898 Pa. See Figure 14E. They likewise backed off a 1154 Pa pressure for sol 1301 and changed it to 752 Pa. See Figure 14F. However, the REMS Team and the FMI read our findings. So when we found on July, 24, 2017 that REMS was suddenly posting a maximum pressure range of up to 1,400 Pa (see Figure 88) all we could say is, “How Convenient!” But it is totally inconsistent with everything they published before, and then there is that little matter of the transducer actually being capable of measuring up to 1,025 hPa (102,500 Pa – see Figure 86).

18.14. Innocent Mistakes? There were several Tavis sensors with widely different pressure sensitivity ranges. Similar looking and sized Tavis transducers could measure up to 0.1 psia (6.9 mbar), 0.174 psia limit (12 mbar), 0.2 psia (13.79 mbar), 0.26 psia (17.9 mbar), 0.36 psia (24.82 mbar), or 15 psia (1,034 mbar). Given their outward similarity and the enigma of Martian weather, the possible installation of the wrong Tavis sensor cannot be overlooked. For detailed information about Tavis transducers see Annex G to this Report (

        An example of simple mistakes made by Mars “experts” can be seen by examining pressures reported by the REMS Team for MSL. See Figure 17A. In fact, for at least the first eight months after MSL landed, there were many obvious errors in daily reports issued by the REMS Team and the associated Ashima Research Company. These mistakes by the REMS Team included confusion between hPa and Pa pressure units, the wrong Martian month, and as mentioned above, constant wind at 7.2 km/hr (2 m/s) from the east when in fact, with a broken meteorological boom, there was no accurate wind information available.

        There was also a failure to include relative humidity in any daily weather reports. Until May, 2013 with Ashima Research there were daily reports with sunrise stuck at 6 AM and sunset stuck at 5 PM local Martian time. The constant 13 hours of night and 11 hours of daylight, whether in late winter or early spring was impossible. In fact, at MSL – just south of the equator - there is never even a single day that has only 11 hours of daylight. Ashima showed that experts are capable of huge mistakes, however in May, 2013 they finally fixed their times, essentially matching day length calculations that we made. In July 2013 these corrected times were included on revised REMS daily reports. We don’t know if it was due to our incessant critiques of their work, but by 2016 Ashima removed its web site from the Internet rendering all its weather data (except what we captured by print screens and present in this Report) no longer available to the public.

        Due to ITAR, the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI, which designed the pressure sensor used on Phoenix and MSL) did not have access to critical information required to both construct the sensor and interpret its results. This caused calibration problems. See Section 2.4.1.

       The tiny Vaisala dust filter on Phoenix did not perform in a manner that FMI could understand. The REMS reports provide reason to believe that this remains true for the essentially identical sensor used on MSL (see Figure 11A at

18.15. Effects of Dust storms.  Dust storms on the surface caused dynamic pressures at 121 km to increase by a factor of 5.6.  This has not been correlated with pressure increases at the surface, but when opacity values increase to levels high enough to block 99% of light, pressures are likely to increase dramatically. This assertion is backed by a dust storm that turned day to night-like darkness in an Arizona Dust Storm on July 5, 2011.  Pressure at Luke Air Force Base increased during the dust storm by 6.6 mbar – more than average pressure (6.1 mbar) at areoid on Mars. See Figures 35, 41 earlier plus Figure 98 below.

Figure 98 – Changes in sky color and opacity due to the dust storm at MSL between May & June 2018.

18.16. Altitude and pressure changes seen. After factoring in altitude changes as Curiosity climbed Mount Sharp in Gale Crater during the 2018 Global Dust Storm that hit Curiosity as is shown in Figure 43 (and shut down Opportunity there was no increase in pressure that matched what was expected for an atmosphere carrying a new heavy dust load. Our spreadsheet covering this storm at was given earlier as Table 15B (

  • Effects on Aerobraking.  Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ExoMars 2016 all encountered unexpectedly high deceleration during aerobraking operations at Mars. Such high deceleration can only be due to a higher density atmosphere than what was anticipated at altitude. See Sections 10 and 17.1.

18.18. Diurnal pressure fluctuation. Maximum and minimum pressure times seen by Tavis pressure transducers on Vikings and Pathfinder did not match times for these events recorded by the Vaisala (FMI) transducer on Phoenix. However as of the date of this report the REMS Team has only released readily accessible hourly pressures for Sols 9.5 to 13, and hourly temperatures for Sol 10 to 11.5 (although it may exist on the PDS).

18.19. Organic chemicals found on Mars. The original Viking findings rejected life on Mars because NASA claimed the Vikings found no organic chemistry. This absence of organic chemistry has been overturned.89 Since then, methane has been found to be emitted from at least four sites on Mars (including detection by MSL at Gale Crater). On December 16, 2014 JPL announced that it had found methane spikes of 5.5, 7, 7 and 9 ppbv (parts per billion volume), about 10 times higher than the background methane measured earlier (0.7 +/- 0.2 ppbv (see Figure 47B). Other organic chemicals found in the Cumberland sample at Gale Crater included chloromethane, dichloromethane, trichloromethane, dichloroethane, 1,2 – dichloropropane, 1,2 – dichlorobutane and  chlorobenzene.

18/20. Evidence for life on Mars. Levin (1997)88 believes that the results of the labeled release life detection experiment on both Vikings backed the detection of microorganisms. If correct, this also may point to higher than assumed pressures, and the failure of Viking pressure instruments to correctly record pressure due to clogged dust filters.

       We believe that MSL likely photographed life on Mars on its Sol 1185 to 1189 and later returned to it on Sols 1248 to 1249. This was shown on Figures 71 and 73. Our belief was reinforced by the Journal of Astrobiology who contacted us and requested us to produce an article about. See Meteorological Implications: Evidence of Life on Mars?  We are less certain that the tree stump-like object seen at MSL on its Sol 1647 (see Figure 82) was what it looked like, but we note that the object seen around Sol 1185 was observed during a period of extraordinarily high winter ground temperatures highs while that seen at in the late summer at Sol 1647 was observed during of period of record cold ground temperature lows.

       Prior to MSL which used rockets for a controlled entry, the previous 4 successful landers all were downrange by 13.4 to 27 km, but 3 landers were lost since 1999. All could have landed short. NASA has requested help with its modeling of the Martian atmosphere.77 True, Beagle 2 was eventually found after 11 years, but the record shows suspect alteration of the landing ellipse size and the full report was classified.

18.21. Problems with transducer design and testing. We believe that (if deliberate disinformation is not a factor) the problem of unbelievable low pressures lies with the design of pressure transducers and the failure of NASA to include a way to replace dust filters that clogged on landing.

        During MPF pre-launch calibration of its Tavis transducer, both the flight and pressure sensor was inadvertently exposed to temperatures 30 K below their design limits. See Annex G at It would also appear that MSL low temperatures reported are far colder than the pressure sensor was designed to handle. At the link just given for Annex G we show NASA Report TM X-74020 which states that the temperature range tested was -28.89° C to +71.11° C.

18.22. Failure to replicate dust devils. NASA Ames could not replicate dust devils without jacking up winds to 11+ times greater than speeds associated with Martian dust devils.

  • Sand movement not possible at NASA’s claimed Martian air pressure. HiRISE findings about bedforms, and in particular, photos of MER Spirit tracks being filled in by sand demonstrate that air must be denser than assumed. Wind tunnel tests by NASA show that 80 mph (35.76 m/s) are required to move sand at 6 mbar. No such wind velocity was reported in the 8,331 Viking 1 and 2 wind measurements that were reported upon in this report. However, if their pressure sensors were faulty then their wind speeds may have been incorrect too.
  • Lower than expected ultraviolet radiation. One might think that with the ultra-thin atmosphere espoused by NASA, and no ozone layer, ultraviolet radiation on Mars would be extremely high on at least some days. But it never was, even though NASA alleged that every single day at MSL so far has been “sunny.” If we use a number of 5 to represent a UV index of extremely high, 4 for very high, 3 for high, 2 for medium, and 1 for low, then (ignoring 108 sols where there was no data), for the first  1,338 sols (two Martian years) the average UV index was about 2.75 – between medium and high.
  • Stratus clouds at high altitudes. Stratus clouds up to 16 km above Mars Pathfinder (that is, clouds at 12.318 km above areoid) suggest pressures at areoid of around 511 mbar, and at the Hellas Basin above average pressures on Earth.

18.26. The real pressure on Mars? REMS Team reports published between September 1 and September 5, 2012 showed pressures between 742 and 747 mbar. These pressures closely match our prediction of 767 mbar at MSL based on the height of stratus clouds above Pathfinder. Curiously, while we cannot vouch for its validity, we were contacted by a source with an IP address in Estonia. It was about a hoax broadcast in 1977, supposedly made as an April Fool’s joke, but it was not released then. The film (at alleged a joint U.S. - Russian unmanned landing on Mars on May 22, 1962.  We can see some kind of probe landing slowly and there are comments (in both English and Russian) about weather conditions on Mars. We hear: Temperature 4 degrees Celsius, Wind speed: 21 km/h, Atmospheric pressure 707.7 millibars. So the temperature and wind was consistent with NASA weather reports, but they closely matched our pressure findings rather than NASA’s. A blurry version of the film just cited is also found on line at, but there it’s attributed to a 1945 joint German-Japanese effort.

       With respect to the first film link given, the claimed landing at an area on Mars with pressure about what we advocate is not what really caught our attention. Rather, it was that the reverse IP address for my unknown Estonian friend was at the U.S. Department of Defense. Disinformation or leak? I don’t know, but the DoD and in fact Fort Huachuca, an Army Intelligence case, is on our sites multiple times daily. They were probably curious to see how I would react to their bait. It’s not uncommon for me to see reader IP addresses in Russia or China with a reverse IP that takes me to the DoD Network Information Center or to one specific U.S. military base. We record NASA, ESA, Kremlin, Roscosmos and Chinese Space Agency IPs. It was been our policy to not record military IP addresses but on 6/18/2018 we learned that when a huge number of NASA AMES IP addresses (at least 430) had their first digit removed, what came up was our most frequent DoD reader. We take their interest as an indication that they likely agree with our findings, but are not yet cleared to publically indicate so.

       We began documenting all REMS and Ashima Research daily weather data problems on our web site at Annex M to this report combines old and new REMS data claims. See While the REMS Team/JPL and Ashima Research (before Ashima went offline) have altered their reports to match our calculations and assertions, the major disagreement on pressure still remains as of the date of this report. We believe that NASA’s pressure figures are at least one, but more likely two orders of magnitude too low.

       Successful landings may have been despite NASA’s misunderstanding of pressure there, not because of accurate data about it.  In fact, the first successful landers (the two Vikings) were designed to land with no prior in situ pressure data. As of February 24, 2021 no probe from another nation ever landed successfully on Mars after the Viking pressure information was published and accepted by the scientific community. We hope that’s about to change and that China’s Tianwen-1 will not only land successfully in a few months, but also give us an honest read out on the pressure it finds. 

       Acceptance of low pressure values may actually have caused some of the crashes to follow Vikings. It is unwise to ignore weather systems that should not occur in a near vacuum. Indeed, on October 19, 2016 an ESA-Roscosmos Mars lander (Schiaparelli) crashed on Mars after its parachute jettisoned early.  The ESA Inquiry is covered in Section 17 of this Report, but note that they did indeed point to problems related to air density.


       All MSL Weather Reporting should be immediately taken away from the REMS Team and reassigned to Malin Space Science Systems with a degree of independent oversight assigned to someone who understands the implication of all the findings of this Report. Further, NASA should officially justify selecting a pressure sensor for Perseverance that is limited to a maximum pressure of 11.5 mbar (less than some pressures initially published for MSL.

       In particular, an independent review of the pressure-related data from Mars should be conducted.  As was shown with Figures 14A, B, C and D (all for Sol 370) and elsewhere as with Annexes M through Q to this Report, there is strong evidence to support suspicion that NASA alters data for political, career-enhancing reasons, or national security reasons. At a minimum the original Viking, Pathfinder, Phoenix and MSL pressure transducers should be retested for the effects of dust and cold temperatures that are more consistent with assumed values on Mars.

       Originally we wrote that critical here is the location of the Tavis Dash No. 1 pressure sensor (15 PSIA/1,034 mbar) ordered for Mars Pathfinder. This is the one that could measure Earth-like pressures. If NASA cannot account for it, then there is more reason to suspect that it, rather than the Tavis Dash No. 2 (0.174 PSIA/12 mbar) sensor shown on the same CAD was the actual sensor sent to Mars. The CAD is shown at Figure 10B in this report, and is on our site at However, when we learned that for Mars Insight NASA chose the older Tavis #10484 transducer (see Figure 10D) over the newer Vaisala transducer that we had criticized so much, we also saw that Tavis had both low and high pressure sensitivity ranges on the same component meaning that they could likely toggle between both ranges without the public knowing about it.

       As ITAR restricts sharing of sensitive technology with foreign contractors, for U.S. launched Mars missions contracts with these restrictions should only be awarded to U.S. firms. However, because instruments can be flawed, and data can be manipulated, for us to really understand Mars, a manned mission must be funded if it can be shown that such a mission will not bring a dangerous virus (similar to COVID-19) or other pathogen back to Earth.

       The father-son Roffman Research Team is divided as to the degree of caution needed. My son, Dr. David Roffman, is willing for the Sample Return portion of the Perseverance lander to be brought back to Earth and he wants to see people on Mars as soon as possible. I don’t agree. As was shown in our article Meteorological Implications: Evidence of Life on Mars? and in its parent article Evidence of Life on Mars? by R. Gabriel Joseph et. al (2019) there is outstanding evidence that there are primitive and probably terrestrial-sourced life (algae, bacteria, fungi, basidiomycota (puffballs), cyanobacteria, stromatolites, and lichens on Mars now. I think we should assume that Mars is also home for viruses. 


       Thanks are due to Professor James E. Tillman for making much of the Viking data available to the public. He answered some of our questions; but left unanswered exactly how the rate of heat flow from radioisotope thermoelectric generators to internal components was regulated – by external or internal temperature or by a timer that was set to shift as sunrise occurred later in the Martian calendar?

         Further thanks are due to David’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Professors Michael Hickey, Olivero, Jason Aufdenberg, and Yongho Lee.

         For transducer data thanks are due to Henrik Kahanpää for his insight into ITAR, to appropriate Tavis and Vaisala company personnel for schematics diagrams and reports related to their sensors, to April Gage, Archivist, NASA Ames History, and to Dr. Prasun Desai at NASA.

        I appreciate JPL public relations director Guy Webster for acknowledging via a “thank you” by e-mail on May 17, 2013 that we were right about REMS Team and Ashima Research being wrong on winds, and that we were right about Martian daylight hours as was manifest by Ashima changing their reports to essentially match our figures within a minute or two each day, with the difference being due only to Ashima’s rounding off sunrise and sunset times to the nearest minute (see Figure 17B). JPL (the REMS Team) eventually also incorporated our times into its reports. Concessions made on these two issues reinforce our belief that NASA will eventually be forced to confess that we are right about pressure too.

        We also need to acknowledge the tremendous influx of data supporting our findings by Marco de Marco and Matteo Fagone. They are both gifted researchers and talented video production people who have, without our knowing it until late September, 2017, followed our research in detail for six years, and produced quality research and films (in Italian) backing it.  Both men interviewed my son and me on September 3, 2017.  See the 3 hour, 43 minute show at   After learning about the quality of their work in establishing the true nature of Mars I begun to translate a great deal of their work from Italian into English and to incorporate it into this Report and our web sites. They both are provided excellent links to the European Space Agency which means that together, hopefully, we can do much to ensure that the ExoMars 2022 mission will have a chance to succeed, however they cannot depend on inadequate pressure transducers like those sent to Mars so far.