HABIT Flight Model | Credits: GAS

(ExoMars 2020 Mission)

The HABIT (HabitAbility, Brine Irradiation and Temperature) instrument is a European payload of the ExoMars Surface Platform 2020 composed by 2 modules: (i) EnvPack to characterise the present-day habitability on Mars by quantifying the availability of liquid water, the thermal ranges and ultraviolet radiation; and (ii) BOTTLE (Brine Observation Transition To Liquid Experiment),an In-situ Resource Utilization instrument to produce liquid water for future Mars exploration, and to study atmospheric dust properties and deposition.BOTTLE will be used also to investigate the present-day atmospheric-ground water cycle and to evaluate if liquid water can exist on Mars in the form of brines, and for how long.

The quest about the habitability of present-day Mars is still an open challenge and a crucial aspect for the future human space exploration. The search for present life and habitability on Mars is conditioned by the availability of liquid water. It has recently been shown that liquid water is stable on Mars in the form of brines. Two other environmental conditions constrain the habitability of the near surface of Mars, the thermal range and the ultraviolet radiation dose. HABIT is a European payload of the ExoMars Surface Platform of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). HABIT will characterize the habitability of the ExoMars landing site Oxia Planum, in terms of Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation, air and ground temperature (T), as well as liquid water availability and in-situ atmospheric water extraction usage.


Direct Link

Exomars 2020 Mission http://exploration.esa.int/mars/48088-mission-overview/
Rover payloads http://exploration.esa.int/mars/45103-rover-instruments/
Surface Platform http://exploration.esa.int/mars/56933-exomars-2020-surface-platform/
NASA Mars Rover's Weather Data Bolster
Case for Brine – NASA’s Mars Exploration Program


  1. Miracle Israel Nazarious, Abhilash Vakkada Ramachandran, Maria-Paz Zorzano, Javier Martin-Torres, 2019 Calibration and preliminary tests of the Brine Observation Transition To Liquid Experiment on HABIT/ExoMars 2020 for demonstration of liquid water stability on Mars, Acta Astronautica. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2019.06.026

  2. Anshuman Bhardwaj, Lydia Sam, F. Javier Martín-Torres, and María-Paz Zorzano, Discovery of recurring slope lineae candidates in Mawrth Vallis, Mars, Scientific Reports. 9(1). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39599-z.

  3. Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, F.J., Zorzano, M.P., 2019, Revisiting enigmatic Martian slope streaks, Eos, vol. 100, DOI: 10.1029/2019EO113611.

  4. Bhardwaj, A., Sam, L., Martin-Torres, F.J., Zorzano, M.P., 2019, Are slope streaks indicative of global-scale aqueous processes on contemporary Mars?, Reviews of Geophysics, published online, DOI: 10.1029/2018RG000617.

  5. Charles S. Cockell, John Holt, Jim Campbell, et. al., 2018, Subsurface scientific exploration of extraterrestrial environments (MINAR 5): analogue science, technology and education in the Boulby Mine, UK, International Journal of Astrobiology, on line, doi: 10.1017/S1473550418000186.

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  7. Martin-Torres, J., Zorzano, M-P., Valentin-Serrano, P., Harri, A-M., Genzer, M., Kemppainen, O., Rivera-Valentin, E. G., Jun, I., Wray, J. J., Madsen, M. B., Goetz, W., McEwen, A. S., Hardgrove, C., Renno, N., Chevrier, V. F., Mischna, M. A., Navarro-Gonzalez, R., Martínez-Frías, J., Conrad, P. G., McConnochie, T. H., Cockell, C., Berger, G., Vasavada, A., Sumner, D. Y. & Vaniman, D. T., 2015,Transient liquid water and water activity at Gale crater on Mars, Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, p. 357-361, doi:10.1038/ngeo2412.