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MAVEN Mission to Mars

Goals: MAVEN (Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN) will obtain critical measurements of the Martian atmosphere to help understand dramatic climate change on the Red Planet over its history. MAVEN will provide information on how, and how, fast atmospheric gases are being lost to space today, and infer from those detailed studies what happened in the past. Studying how the Martian atmosphere was lost to space can reveal clues about the impact that change had on the Martian climate, geologic and geochemical conditions over time, all of which are important in understanding whether Mars had an environment able to support life.

Accomplishments: MAVEN arrived in orbit at Mars on schedule. Science instruments will be commissioned in a few weeks.

Key Dates
18 Nov 2013:  Launch (1:28 pm. (EST))
21 Sep 2014:  Mars Orbit Insertion
Status: In Orbit at Mars
Fast Facts
MAVEN Facts Mars' loss of its protective magnetic field may have triggered the loss of its atmosphere.

Maven is part of NASA's low-cost Mars Scout program.

Mars Phoenix was the first Mars Scout mission.

The spacecraft, measured wingtip to wingtip, is about the same length as an average school bus.

MAVEN weighs about the same as a fully loaded (people and cargo) SUV, which is about 2,550 kg (5,622 lbs).
Science & Technology Features
People Spotlight
Paul Mahaffy Paul Mahaffy
"Robotic tools help make detailed environmental studies possible. These studies can help us to eventually answer the big questions." Read More...
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Last Updated: 21 Sep 2014